Personal Jurisdiction Motion By Telecom Employer and Auto Company Denied; Case Dismissed Due to Pleading Deficiencies U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania February 20, 2019
PENNSYLVANIA — Yesterday, a federal judge disagreed with the defendants, Ford Motor Company and AT&T, that the court lacked jurisdiction over the companies, but determined that the plaintiff Rhonda J. Gorton’s pleadings were deficient nonetheless. Ms. Gorton sued Ford, AT&T, and several other parties alleging that they exposed her late husband Thomas Gorton to asbestos, causing his mesothelioma. The court found that Gorton’s amended complaint set forth only conclusory allegations against Ford, and lacked any facts that demonstrated potential liability. They further determined that the allegations of the amended complaint were “insufficient for the court to discern any plausible claim against AT&T Corp. based upon AT&T Communications, Inc. employing Mr. Gorton at the time he was allegedly exposed to asbestos.” Gorton was granted leave to file a second amended complaint within 14 days.