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Spiniello Companies v. Infrastructure Technologies

May 10, 2011

SPINIELLO COMPANIES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., DEFENDANT.



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

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION & ORDER

Defendant Infrastructure Technologies, Inc. moves to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. The motion is denied as moot because the Clerk of the Court is ordered to transfer this case to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). The Court did not hold a hearing and bases its conclusions on the complaint and affidavits filed by the parties.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

As part of a sewer rehabilitation project, the City of St. Cloud, Minnesota hired the plaintiff, Spiniello Companies, a New Jersey-based construction company, to line the city's sewers with cured-in-place piping.*fn1 Before Spiniello could install the cured-in-place pipes, the sewer lines needed to be cleaned. Spiniello received and accepted a bid for this preliminary cleaning work from the defendant, Infrastructure Technologies, Inc. ("Infratech"), a Minnesota-

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

based company specializing in pipeline cleaning and inspection. Spiniello and Infratech signed a contract in October 2009 in which Spiniello agreed to pay Infratech $81,336.74 for this work.

The project did not go as planned. According to Spiniello, Infratech needed to complete its cleaning work in a timely manner so that Spiniello would have enough time to install the cured-in-place pipe by December 31, 2009, the deadline Spiniello and the City had agreed to. The parties dispute the precise cause of the delays that followed, but, in any event, Spiniello was unable to complete its work by the deadline.

Both parties claim losses related to the project. Spiniello says that it incurred additional expenses related to labor and equipment rental costs. Infratech says that it is owed more money because it had to clean more material out of the sewer pipes than the original estimate.

The procedural history of this case involves parallel cases filed here and in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Spiniello sued Infratech in this Court on September 1, 2010. On November 5, 2010 Infratech sued Spiniello in the District Court for the District of Minnesota. Infrastructure Tech, Inc. v. Spiniello Cos., Civ. No. 10-4482 (D. Minn. filed Nov. 5, 2010). Three days later, on November 8, 2010, Infratech filed this motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue.

While the motion was pending before this Court, on December 23, 2010, Spiniello moved in the District of Minnesota to dismiss the case there on grounds that the suit was barred by a forum selection clause in the contract between Spiniello and Infratech. On March 15, 2011, this Court alerted the parties that it was considering a sua sponte transfer of this case to the District of Minnesota and gave the parties an opportunity to respond. ECF No. 15. On April 20, 2011, the Minnesota court granted Spiniello's motion and dismissed the case without prejudice.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Infrastructure Tech., Inc. v. Spiniello Cos., Civ. No. 10-4482 (D. Minn. Apr. 20, 2011), ECF No. 17. On April 21, 2011, Infratech filed a complaint in this Court to preserve its claims pending appeal of the Minnesota court's order. ECF No. 20; Infrastructure Tech., Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Grp., Civ. No. 11-2305 (D.N.J. filed April 21, 2011).

This Court now transfers this case to the District of Minnesota.

DISCUSSION

Infratech seeks to dismiss the complaint because it claims that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over it ...


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