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Bandemer v. Ford Motor Company

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

April 23, 2018

Adam Bandemer, Respondent,
v.
Ford Motor Company, Appellant, Eric Hanson, et al., Defendants.

          Todd County District Court File No. 77-CV-16-1025

          Kyle W. Farrar, Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball, L.L.P., Houston, Texas; and Steven D. Lastovich, Steven D. Lastovich, Ltd., Baxter, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Michael R. Carey, Scholastica N.S. Baker, Bowman and Brooke, L.L.P., Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Sean Marotta (pro hac vice), Hogan Lovells U.S. L.L.P., Washington, D.C. (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Cleary, Chief Judge; Reyes, Judge; and Jesson, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         Minnesota's five-factor test to determine whether Minnesota has specific personal jurisdiction over a nonresident is consistent with the principle reiterated by the United States Supreme Court in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Super. Ct., 137 S.Ct. 1773 (2017), that there must be a connection between the forum and the specific claim at issue.

          OPINION

          REYES, JUDGE.

         In this appeal from the district court's denial of appellant Ford Motor Company's (Ford) motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, Ford argues that Minnesota does not have specific personal jurisdiction over it because respondent Adam Bandemer's injury did not arise from Ford's contacts with Minnesota. We affirm.

         FACTS

         Bandemer, a Minnesota resident, sustained a brain injury in Minnesota while riding in the front passenger seat of a 1994 Ford Crown Victoria (the Crown Victoria) in January 2015. The Crown Victoria was registered in Minnesota. Co-defendant Eric Hanson, who was driving the Crown Victoria at the time of the accident, rear-ended a snow plow. The Crown Victoria went into a ditch, and the front passenger airbag failed to deploy. Bandemer's injury was treated in Minnesota. Bandemer sued Ford in Todd County, claiming the Crown Victoria was defectively designed, manufactured, and marketed.

         Ford moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Ford argued that Minnesota lacks specific personal jurisdiction over Ford and also does not have consent-based jurisdiction in light of the United States Supreme Court decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 134 S.Ct. 746 (2014).[1]

         In its discovery responses, Ford admitted that it engaged in substantial marketing activities in Minnesota. After conducting a hearing on Ford's motion to dismiss, the district court denied Ford's motion, finding that Ford consented to jurisdiction by registering to do business in Minnesota under Minn. Stat. § 303.13 (2016), and designating an agent in Minnesota for service. This appeal follows.

         ISSUES

         Did the district court err in denying Ford's motion to dismiss ...


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