Case Remanded to State Court to Hear Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction as State Court Issues Predominate Case

In this case, the decedent Oscar Villanueva, is alleged to have been exposed to asbestos from various products while working at Glendale Auto Radio Stereo from 1969 to 1990. Defendant FCA US LLC removed the case to federal court since any judgment would have an impact on its bankruptcy estate. Defendant Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche moved to dismiss arguing improper service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiff subsequently dismissed the claim against FCA and moved to remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Porsche AG opposed.

The court granted the remand, and held: “The Court finds that state law issues predominate. Plaintiffs have only raised claims of negligence, strict liability, and loss of consortium, which are all governed by California law. Porsche AG’s motion to dismiss alleges improper service of process, which Porsche AG concedes is a question of state law. Its motion to dismiss also asserts that the federal courts lack personal jurisdiction, which Porsche AG attempts to characterize as a federal due process question. The single personal jurisdiction question is insufficient for the Court to find that federal law issues predominate. Rather, state courts regularly handle issues of personal jurisdiction and such matters are not unsettled or complex, weighing in favor of a finding that state law issues predominate. Furthermore, the Complaint itself does not raise a substantial federal issue.”

Read the full decision here.