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Falco v. Nissan North Am. Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 6, 2015

KOBE FALCO, individually, and on behalf of a class similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff,
v.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA INC., NISSAN MOTOR CO.LTD, a Japanese Company, Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1055

For Kobe Falco, individually, and on behalf of a class similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff: Mark P Pifko, Natasha Mehta, Roland K Tellis, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Michael I Miller, Baron and Budd PC, Encino, CA; Cody R Padgett, Jordan L Lurie, Capstone Law APC, Los Angeles, CA; Dara Tabesh, Erotech Law Group PC, San Francisco, CA; Karen Emily Nakon, Larry Chae, Payam Shahian, Ramtin Shahian, Strategic Legal Practices APC, Los Angeles, CA; Michael G Devlin, Strategic Legal Practices, Los Angeles, CA.

For Alfredo Padilla, Joel Seguin, Roberto Galvan, Plaintiffs: Mark P Pifko, Natasha Mehta, Roland K Tellis, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Michael I Miller, Baron and Budd PC, Encino, CA; Karen Emily Nakon, Larry Chae, Strategic Legal Practices APC, Los Angeles, CA.

For Nissan North America Inc, Defendant: E Paul Cauley, Jr, PRO HAC VICE, Sedgwick LLP, Dallas, TX; James L Nelson, Sedgwick LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Jia-Ming Shang, Nora E Wetzel, Paul J Riehle, Sedgwick LLP, San Francisco, CA.

For Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, doing business as Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Defendant: E Paul Cauley, Jr, PRO HAC VICE, Sedgwick LLP, Dallas, TX; James L Nelson, Sedgwick LLP, Los Angeles, CA.

Page 1056

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS UNDER RULES 12(b)(2) AND 12(b)(6)

[Dkt. Nos. 99, 100]

DEAN D. PREGERSON, United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court are two Motions to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint as to Nissan Motor Co. Ltd (" NML" ), one for lack of personal jurisdiction and one for failure to state a claim. (Dkt. Nos. 99, 100.) Having heard oral arguments and considered the parties' submissions, the Court adopts the following order.

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I. BACKGROUND

The Court has already set out the background facts of this case in its order of October 10, 2013, and they remain largely the same. Briefly, the named Plaintiffs purchased four Nissan vehicles between 2005 and 2007 that shared in common a particular kind of timing chain system, which they allege was prone to failure and put consumers at risk. Falco v. Nissan N. Am. Inc., No. CV 13-00686 DDP MANX, 2013 WL 5575065, at *1-2 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 10, 2013). They bring this action under various California and Washington consumer protection statutes on behalf of themselves and others similar situated. (Second Amended Complaint (" SAC" ) at 1.)

NML is the parent company of Nissan North America (" NNA" ), which sells Nissan products in the United States. (Id. at ¶ 21.) NML was a Defendant in the original state complaint in this case. (Dkt. No. 1.) After NML filed a motion asserting that the Court lacked jurisdiction over it, (Dkt. No. 27), the Court ordered limited discovery to establish the jurisdictional facts. (Dkt. No. 65.) While that discovery was under way, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746, 187 L.Ed.2d 624 (2014). NML argued Bauman foreclosed any possibility of general jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 78.) The parties therefore stipulated to dismiss NML as a defendant, but with leave for Plaintiffs to re-add NML in a future amended complaint. (Dkt. Nos. 83, 86.) A few months later, Plaintiffs filed the SAC, which did add NML back as a defendant. (Dkt. No. 90.) The present motions followed.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Personal Jurisdiction

A court in a given " forum state" may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant if the following conditions are met:

(1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or resident thereof; or perform some act by which he purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the ...

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