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Wang v. Thomson

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

August 11, 2014

CHARLES WANG, Plaintiff,
v.
TAYLOR THOMSON, et al., Defendants.

ORDER (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT MGH'S MOTION TO DISMISS; AND (2) DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO EXTEND TIME [Re: ECF 14]

BETH LABSON FREEMAN, District Judge.

Defendant Massachusetts General Hospital ("MGH" or "Defendant") brings this Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Charles Wang's ("Wang" or "Plaintiff") Complaint. Plaintiff brings a wrongful death suit against MGH and individual Defendants arising out of the death of his mother. MGH seeks dismissal, arguing that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over it. The Court agrees, and DISMISSES Plaintiff's Complaint.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed his Complaint on May 23, 2014. (ECF 1) MGH filed the instant Motion to Dismiss ("Mot.") on June 18, 2014. (ECF 14, 15) Plaintiff filed an Opposition ("Opp.") on July 2, 2014 (ECF 18), and further requested that the Court extend time on which the motion could be heard. MGH timely replied on July 7, 2014. (ECF 19)

B. Factual Allegations

Plaintiff is a resident of Santa Clara County, California. (Compl. ΒΆ 1) He alleges that, on April 28, 2014, his mother was admitted to MGH despite having "no fever, no pain and no reason to be admitted to MGH through their emergency room." (Compl. at p. 3) Plaintiff states that he advised her against being hospitalized. ( Id. ) He avers a number of wrongs allegedly committed by staff at MGH, including that his mother was given "harsh, painful, unnecessary and harmful treatments." ( Id. at p. 4) He alleges that his mother "suffered physically [and] mentally, " and that her doctors "wanted to jeopardize her health and deterred her [will to] live." ( Id. at p. 4) Plaintiff further alleges that, at some point while his mother was unconscious, "they stopped providing her with water, " and "[a]s a result, she passed several days later." ( Id. )[1]

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Once a party challenges the Court's jurisdiction over it through a Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss, the Plaintiff bears the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction. See, e.g., Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800-01 (9th Cir. 2004); see also Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 1986) (stating that a plaintiff must "come forward with facts, by affidavit or otherwise, supporting personal jurisdiction").

When the Motion is based on written materials, and not an evidentiary hearing, Plaintiff "need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdictional facts." Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d 797, 800. Plaintiff cannot "simply rest on the bare allegations of [his] complaint, " Amba Mktg. Sys., Inc. v. Jobar Int'l, Inc., 551 F.2d 784, 787 (9th Cir. 1977), but "uncontroverted allegations in the complaint must be taken as true." Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d 797, 800.

In the absence of a specific statutory provision conferring jurisdiction, federal courts apply the personal jurisdiction laws of the state in which they sit. California's long-arm jurisdictional statute is "coextensive with federal due process requirements." Panavision Int'l, LP v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316, 1320 (9th Cir. 1998). In order for the Court to exercise jurisdiction, a defendant must have sufficient "minimum contacts" with the forum state, such that the exercise of jurisdiction "does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss

In its Motion to Dismiss, MGH states that it has a principal place of business in Boston, Massachusetts, and argues that Plaintiff "has failed to allege any facts in his complaint which support or provide basis for personal jurisdiction over MGH in California." (Mot. at 3)[2] Plaintiff, a resident of this district, states that he has filed suit in California because he has "attempted to get attorney help numerous times in Boston, Massachusetts, without any success." (Compl. p. 2) In his Opposition, he reiterates that law firms ...


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