Supreme Court of New York, New York County, January 8, 2021
In this instant matter, defendants Genuine Parts Company and National Automotive Parts Association, LLC’s (defendants) move to dismiss this action against them pursuant to CPLR §3211(a)(8) on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over them. The defendants argued that they were not subject to the jurisdiction of the New York court as they were not residents of New York State. In support of their motions, the defendants submitted affidavits from their representatives, which establish that neither defendant have their principal place of business within New York State, and thus, are not residents of the state. Moreover, both defendants argued that they do not transact business within the state of New York such that personal jurisdiction cannot be conferred upon them.
As to general jurisdiction, the court noted the defendants have established and it is uncontested, that both of their principal places of business are outside of New York and that they are not residents of New York. As both defendants had their principal places of business in Georgia at the time the instant action was commenced, and neither such defendant was incorporated in New York State, personal jurisdiction may not be established based upon the residence of the moving defendants.
With regard to specific jurisdiction under New York’s long-arm statute, the court noted the evidence presented failed to demonstrate the defendants conducted business within the state or had a substantial nexus to the state. The documents presented established the plaintiff is a resident of Minnesota, rather than New York, at the relevant time frame of the plaintiff’s alleged exposure to asbestos and at the time the instant action was commenced. Moreover, the alleged asbestos exposure arose from work the plaintiff performed in Minnesota.
Defendant National Automotive Parts submitted an affidavit indicated that it has no nexus with the State of New York in that it owns no real estate it has never been incorporated, never kept its books or records, and has never maintained its corporate offices in New York. Thus, it has established that it does not transact business in New York, it did not commit a tortious act against the plaintiff within the state, it did not commit a tortious act against the plaintiff without the state which caused injury to the plaintiff within the state, and it does not own real estate within the state. Based upon these facts, the court found that specific jurisdiction has not been established as to defendant National Automotive Parts.
Similarly, Genuine Parts Company submitted an affidavit indicated that it conducts business nationwide of which less than 5 percent of its employees conduct work within New York State, approximately 5 percent of the automotive parts owned by it are situated within the state, less than 5 percent of the real properties operated by it are within the state, and less than 5 percent of its revenue is generated within the state. Furthermore, this defendant has never had corporate offices within New York State, no board or shareholder meetings have been conducted within the state, and it has no offices or remanufacturing facilities within the state. Moreover, this defendant has shown that it did not commit a tortious act against plaintiff within the state of New York and it did not commit a tortious act against the plaintiff within the state which caused injuries within the state as the plaintiff did not reside in New York at all relevant times and was never exposed to asbestos in New York.
Consequently, the court granted the defendants’ unopposed motions to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction.