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King v. Timber Ridge Trading & Manufacturing Co.

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

September 23, 2019

DAVID A. KING, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMBER RIDGE TRADING & MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, (DE 11), and defendant’s motion to dismiss, (DE 16). The issues raised have been fully briefed and in this posture are ripe for ruling. For the reasons that follow, the court denies as moot plaintiff’s motion and grants defendant’s motion.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, initiated the present action by filing complaint on January 11, 2019, asserting claims for breach of express and implied warranties as well as failure to warn, regarding a wood-cutting blade bought online by plaintiff allegedly from defendant through Amazon.com Services, Inc. (“Amazon”).[1]

         On February 18, 2019, the court allowed defendant’s motion for extension of time to respond to complaint, extending the deadline for defendant to file responsive pleading up to and including March 18, 2019. On February 26, 2019, plaintiff filed the instant motion for reconsideration of the court’s February 19, 2019, order.

         On March 5, 2019, summons was issued. (See DE 13).[2] On March 18, 2019, defendant filed its motion to dismiss, arguing in part that dismissal is proper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(2) because neither North Carolina statutes nor principles of due process provide this court with personal jurisdiction over defendant.[3]

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

         The facts alleged in complaint relevant to the resolution of the instant motions are as follows. Plaintiff alleges that on October 20, 2018, he purchased a “wood-cutting blade . . . from Defendant on Amazon.com.” (Compl. (DE 1) ¶ 6). Plaintiff alleges he was injured the next day when he attempted to use the product. (Id. ¶ 2-5, 7). Plaintiff alleges that defendant is liable for his injuries because of representations he read online about the product that promised no “No Kick-Back” and other representations about the use and properties of the blade. (Id. ¶ 6).

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Rule 12(b)(2) allows for dismissal of a claim for lack of personal jurisdiction. “When a district court considers a question of personal jurisdiction based on the contents of a complaint and supporting affidavits, the plaintiff has the burden of making a prima facie showing in support of its assertion of jurisdiction.” Universal Leather, LLC v. Koro AR, S.A., 773 F.3d 553, 558 (4th Cir. 2014). At this stage, the court “must construe all relevant pleading allegations in the light most favorable to plaintiff, assume credibility, and draw the most favorable inferences for the existence of jurisdiction.” Combs v. Bakker, 886 F.2d 673, 676 (4th Cir.1989); see Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Akzo, N.V., 2 F.3d 56, 60 (4th Cir.1993) (“[T]he district court must draw all reasonable inferences arising from the proof, and resolve all factual disputes, in the plaintiff’s favor.”).

         B. Analysis

         “A lawful assertion of personal jurisdiction over a defendant requires satisfying the standards of the forum state’s long-arm statute and respecting the safeguards enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.” Tire Eng’g & Distribution, LLC v. Shandong Linglong Rubber Co., 682 F.3d 292, 301 (4th Cir. 2012). Where, as here, “North Carolina’s long-arm statute is construed to extend jurisdiction over nonresident defendants to the full extent permitted by the Due Process Clause, . . . the dual jurisdictional requirements collapse into a single inquiry” into whether personal jurisdiction comports with due process. Christian Sci. Bd. of Directors of First Church of Christ, Scientist v. Nolan, 259 F.3d 209, 215 (4th Cir. 2001).

         The due process inquiry “can be undertaken through two different approaches – by finding specific jurisdiction . . . or by finding general jurisdiction.” ALS Scan, Inc. v. ...


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