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Warren Environmental, Inc. v. Source One Environmental, LTD et al (1:18-cv-11513-RGS)

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

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Warren Environmental, Inc. v. Source One Environmental, LTD et al (1:18-cv-11513-RGS)

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  • Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered granting in part and denying in part (Document 50) Motion to Dismiss. Source One's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) is DENIED on Counts 1 and 2 and ALLOWED on Count 3 without prejudice to being refiled in the appropriate court of England.

    (RGS, law2)

  • Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered granting in part and denying in part (Document 19) Motion to Compel Mediation or, in the Alternative, to Dismiss. The defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction over Fernco is ALLOWED, consequently Counts 4 and 5 are dismissed as to Fernco. The defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) is ALLOWED on Counts 1, 2, and 3 with respect to Flex-Seal only, and on Count 4 as to both Flex-Seal and Source One.

    (RGS, law2)

  • Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered granting (Document 44) Motion for Protective Order per the parties' stipulation. (Tang, Danni)

  • Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered granting (Document 32) Motion for Discovery. Massachusetts-based plaintiff Warren Environmental, Inc. (WEI) filed this lawsuit against UK defendants Source One Environmental, Ltd., Flex-Seal Couplings, Ltd, and their Michigan corporate parent Fernco, Inc., for allegedly failing to maintain, as required by a license agreement, WEI's European patent for its epoxy pumping system. Defendants move to dismiss on the grounds, inter alia, that Fernco is not subject to personal jurisdiction in Massachusetts. Fernco contends, and WEI implicitly agrees, that Fernco does not have sufficient "continuous and systematic" contacts with Massachusetts to be subject to general jurisdiction in this forum . See Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 127 (2014). Fernco also denies specific personal jurisdiction, arguing that it is not a party to any agreement with WEI, it did not conduct any business with WEI in Massachusetts, and that its contac ts with Massachusetts did not give rise to WEI's claims. WEI, for its part, relying on an agency theory of specific jurisdiction, see Daynard v. Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson & Poole, P.A., 290 F.3d 42, 55 (1st Cir. 2002) ("For purposes of personal jurisdiction, the actions of an agent may be attributed to the principal."), asserts (through the affidavit of WEI principal Danny Warren) that negotiations with the UK entities were initiated and controlled by Chris Cooper , Fernco's CEO, and that WEI was required to obtain, in Michigan, the personal approval of Fernco's founder prior to engaging in business with its subsidiaries. Although Fernco correctly notes that the "'strong' presumption of corporate independence may only be overcome by 'clear evidence' of parental subjugation," In re Lupron Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., 245 F. Supp. 2d 280, 291 (D. Mass. 2003), WEI has made a colorable claim for specific juri sdiction at this early motion to dismiss stage to warrant jurisdictional discovery, see Blair v. City of Worcester, 522 F.3d 105, 111 (1st Cir. 2008) ("[T]he threshold showing that a plaintiff must present to the district court to merit l imited discovery is relatively low."). The case for relevant discovery is further bolstered by Fernco reliance on Cooper's affidavit to refute Warren's. Accordingly, the court will allow WEI's request to seek written jurisdictio nal discovery of defendants and to take the depositions of the two identified former executives of Source One and Flex Seal, to be completed no later than 12/18/2019. The court takes no position, at this time, on the confidentiality agreements conce rning these two proposed deponents alluded to by the parties - these agreements are not before the court (and they appear to concern the relationship between the UK entities and their former employees). In the unlikely event that jurisdictional disc overy may require the disclosure of any confidential information, the court reminds the parties that its default protective order governs until such a time the parties seek the entry of a case-specific order. WEI is to submit a further statement, wi th supporting evidence, setting out the prima facie case for the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over Fernco, no later than 1/8/2020. Fernco may submit a response no later than 1/22/2020. The court will resolve the motion to dismiss in its entirety after these submissions. (Tang, Danni)

  • Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered granting (Document 24) Motion to Stay (Zierk, Marsha)

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Warren Environmental, Inc. v. Source One Environmental, LTD et al (1:18-cv-11513-RGS)

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

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