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Gricelda Gamboa and Oscar Gamboa v. Usa Cycling

April 18, 2013

GRICELDA GAMBOA AND OSCAR GAMBOA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
USA CYCLING, INC.; USA CYCLING DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION; MICHAEL OLSON; MLO ENTERPRISES, LLC; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; AND DOES 1--10, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Otis D. Wright, II United States District Judge

O JS-6

previously

AMENDED ORDER TRANSFERRING VENUE [12]

I. INTRODUCTION

This case involves a bicycle accident that occurred in Lake Mead Recreation Center in Nevada. Plaintiffs Gricelda and Oscar Gamboa, both California citizens, sued nonresident Defendants USA Cycling; USA Foundation; MLO Enterprises, LLC; and Michael L. Olsen for damages resulting from injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Defendants move to dismiss the Gamboas' Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. In the alternative Defendants seek to transfer this case to the District of Nevada under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) for forum non conveniens. The Court GRANTS Defendants Motion insofar as it contends venue is improper and therefore TRANSFERS this case to the District of Nevada.*fn1

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On February 26, 2011, Gricelda Gamboa was permanently injured while participating in the Callville Bay Classic bicycle race at Lake Mead Recreation Center in Nevada. (Compl. ¶¶ 15--16.) Gricelda was allegedly struck by a truck that had illegally crossed a double-yellow line into oncoming traffic in an attempt to pass the cyclists participating in the event. (Compl. 1.) Gricelda suffered a concussion; skull fractures; a fracture of the sacrum and L5 vertebrae; a torn left medial-collateral ligament in her knee; C1-C2 neck sprain; loss of smell, taste and hearing; vertigo; headaches; and a loss of mobility, which resulted in a loss of wages. She has since undergone multiple surgeries to implant and remove surgical screws to stabilize the injured areas of her body. (Compl. 2.) She has continued to treat her injuries here in Los Angeles for over two years since the accident. (Opp'n 12.)

Gricelda brought suit for gross negligence on the part of defendants U.S.A. Cycling, Inc., USA Cycling Development Foundation (USA Foundation), and race-event organizer Michael L. Olsen and MLO Enterprises, LLC (MLO). Gricelda alleges that Defendants failed to provide course marshals, safety instructions, escort vehicles, and clear indications of where turns should be made by racers, as well as signage or other warnings for motorists. (Opp'n 2.) Gricelda's husband, Oscar makes a claim for loss of affection, care, and consortium.

Defendants are responsible for creating, coordinating, and authorizing the race. (Compl. 6.) USA Cycling is the official governing body for competitive cycling in the United States. (Opp'n 4.) USA Cycling was incorporated in Colorado in 1994, and has maintained a principal place of business and headquarters in Colorado since that time. (Opp'n 4.) Each year, USA Cycling sanctions over 3,000 cycling events across the United States. (Opp'n 5.) USA Cycling endorsed the race in which Gricelda was injured. (Compl. ¶ 15.)

Defendant USA Foundation is the non-profit fundraising arm of USA cycling. USA Foundation raises money for year-round support of athletic training and development, as well as competition and travel needs for young athletes in competitive cycling. (Opp'n 6.) USA Foundation does not manage, organize, design, sponsor, sanction, advertise, promote or market any cycling races. (Id.) USA Foundation was incorporated in Colorado in 2000 and has maintained its principal place of business and headquarters in Colorado since that time. (Opp'n 5.)

Defendant Michael L. Olsen, a Nevada citizen, was the promoter of the race in which Gricelda was injured. (Opp'n 6.) Olsen promoted races through his company, MLO Enterprises, LLC. (Compl. ¶ 10.) MLO Enterprises was a Nevada limited-liability company, but its entity status was revoked by the Nevada Department of Corporations. (Id.)

III. LEGAL STANDARD

A case may be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) for improper venue. Venue is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), which provides that venue is proper in any judicial district where any defendant resides if all defendants reside in the same state, or in any judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1), (2). If there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought, venue is proper in any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced. Id.§ 1391(a)(3).

For venue purposes, a corporation resides in any judicial district where it would be subject to personal jurisdiction. Id. ยง 1391(c). In states such as California, which has more than one judicial district, a corporation is deemed to reside in any district within the state with which its contacts would be sufficient to subject it to personal jurisdiction if the district were a separate state. Id. Once a defendant has raised a timely objection to venue, the plaintiff has ...


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