Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

LEJA v. SCHMIDT MANUFACTURING INC.

August 15, 2005.

KAZIMIERZ LEJA & ZOFIA LEJA, Plaintiffs,
v.
SCHMIDT MANUFACTURING, INC., SYLVAN EQUIPMENT CORP., BOBCAT OF NEW YORK, INC., L,&L PAINTING CONTRACTING CO., INC., JOHN DOE I, et al., Defendants, and SCHMIDT MANUFACTURING, INC., Defendant/Third Party Plaintiff, v. SYPRIS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. f/k/a TUBE TURNS TECHNOLOGIES, INC., SYPRIS SOLUTIONS, INC., RICHARD ROES 1-8 and JOHN DOES 1-8, et al., Third Party Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DICKINSON DEBEVOISE, Senior District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the court are: (1) the motion of defendant/third-party plaintiff Schmidt Manufacturing, Inc. ("Schmidt") for reconsideration of the court's opinion and order dated June 3, 2005 or, in the alternative, to certify for interlocutory appeal;*fn1 and (2) the motion of third-party defendant Sypris Technologies, Inc. ("Sypris") for attorneys' fees and costs with respect to Schmidt's Rule 11 motion for sanctions and with respect to allegedly abusive discovery tactics. For the reasons set forth below, Schmidt's motion for reconsideration or, in the alternative, for certification will be denied. Sypris's motion for attorneys' fees and costs relating to Schmidt's Rule 11 motion will be denied, and Sypris's motion for attorneys' fees and costs relating to Schmidt's allegedly abusive discovery tactics will be referred to the Magistrate Judge. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

  The underlying dispute is a products liability action filed by Plaintiffs Kazimierz and Zofia Leja seeking damages for injuries to Kazimierz Leja arising from a workplace accident involving a sandblasting machine manufactured by Schmidt. Schmidt filed a third-party complaint against Sypris for indemnification and contribution.

  Sypris filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in January 2005. The return date was adjourned until May 23, 2005 in order to provide Schmidt with time to conduct jurisdictional discovery. Oral argument on Sypris's motion to dismiss was heard on May 23, 2005. On May 25, 2005, Schmidt filed a motion for Rule 11 sanctions against Sypris, alleging that Sypris and its counsel either acted with bad faith or improper purpose and engaged in delaying tactics with respect to jurisdictional discovery and the filing of Sypris's motion to dismiss.

  In an opinion and order dated June 3, 2005 (the "June Opinion & Order"), Sypris's motion to dismiss was granted and Schmidt's motion for Rule 11 sanctions was denied. Schmidt's Rule 11 motion was denied without oral argument and prior to the due date for filing opposition papers. It is the June Opinion & Order from which Schmidt seeks reconsideration or certification for interlocutory appeal.

  Sypris's pending motion for attorneys' fees and costs arises from the costs of responding to Schmidt's Rule 11 motion and jurisdictional discovery.

  DISCUSSION

  I. Motion for reconsideration

  Schmidt seeks reconsideration on the ground that the court applied the wrong law in granting Sypris's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Schmidt argues that the court ignored controlling New Jersey precedent and erroneously applied the law of other jurisdictions such as Pennsylvania and New York.

  In New Jersey, a motion for reconsideration is governed by Local Civil Rule 7.1(g), which provides in part: "There shall be served with the notice a brief setting forth concisely the matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked." L. CIV. R. 7.1(g). The court in Tecchio v. U.S. ex rel. Meola has explained:
The word "overlooked is the operative term in the rule, and it has been interpreted consistently as referring only to facts and legal arguments properly presented to the court at the time the motion on which reargument is sought was initially decided." A motion for reconsideration is not a means by which to obtain a proverbial second bite of the apple. . . . Accordingly, the Court has reconsidered its rulings only where convinced that germane information was initially overlooked.
No. 03-1529, 2003 WL 22952835, at *1 (D.N.J. Oct. 24, 2003) (citing LITE, N.J. FEDERAL PRACTICE RULES, Comment 6(e)(1) to Rule 7.1(g) (Gann)). Motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly and only when dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law were brought to the court's attention but not considered. McGarry v. Resolution Trust Corp., 909 F. Supp. 241, 244 (D.N.J. 1995). A motion for reconsideration may be granted if: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law has occurred; (2) evidence not previously available has become available; or (3) it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995).

  Schmidt argues that the motion for reconsideration should be granted because the court committed a clear error of law. More specifically, Schmidt argues that the court should not have applied the following jurisdictional tests because they are not applicable in New Jersey: (A) "centrality to the business" test, (B) "extensive and persuasive" contacts, and (C) "solicitation plus" test. Finally, Schmidt also argues that (D) the court should have extended the time period examined for determining whether general personal jurisdiction should be asserted.

  A. "Centrality to the business" standard

  Schmidt argues that the court erroneously relied on Provident Nat'l Bank v. California Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 819 F.2d 434 (3d Cir. 1987) because Provident evaluated general jurisdiction under Pennsylvania law. In a footnote, Schmidt states, "Pennsylvania law has historically been far less liberal than New Jersey in extending long-arm jurisdiction over a non-resident." (Schmidt Br. at 3 n. 2.) It is true that Provident concerned Pennsylvania's long-arm statute, not New Jersey's. It is also true, however, that Pennsylvania's long-arm statute in Provident is identical to New Jersey's long-arm statute — i.e., both states' long-arm statutes permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction to the fullest extent allowed under the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, the test of whether a defendant's contacts with the state were "central" to its business enunciated by the Court of Appeals in Provident was equally applicable in deciding Sypris's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

  Schmidt implies in a footnote that the June Opinion & Order is inconsistent with the court's opinion in GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare L.P. v. Merix Pharmaceutical Corp., No. Civ.A. 05-898(DRD), 2005 WL 1116318 (D.N.J. May 10, 2005), which found that personal jurisdiction could be exercised. Schmidt emphasizes the fact that Merix's sales to New Jersey was $240,000 and that this amount was "sufficient for jurisdictional purposes." (Schmidt Br. at 4-5 n. 3.) The comparison of Merix's contacts in GlaxoSmithKline with Sypris's contacts, however, is distinguishable on at least two grounds. First, the court's finding in GlaxoSmithKline that personal jurisdiction could be exercised was not based on the dollar amount of sales in New Jersey, but rather on Merix's other contacts with New Jersey, such as advertising through various media in New Jersey. Second and perhaps more importantly, the analysis in GlaxoSmithKline pertained to a finding of specific personal jurisdiction, and the June Opinion & Order found that specific personal jurisdiction was lacking. Schmidt ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.