Battles with a Truck Company of Personal Jurisdiction in Maryland

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR BALTIMORE CITY, MARYLAND

STEVE JOHNSON, et al.,
- Plaintiffs,

MINNESOTA TRUCKING, et al.,
- Defendants,

CASE NO.: 24-C-05-007073

Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss

Plaintiffs, Steve Johnson and Susan Johnson, by and through their attorneys, Ronald V. Miller, Jr. and Miller & Zois, LLC, oppose the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Minnesota Trucking and Dennis Sing (collectively, for purpose of this motion “Defendants”) and requests that Defendants motion be denied. In the alternative, Plaintiffs request the opportunity to conduct jurisdictional discovery to determine more information about the specifics of Defendants’ contacts with Maryland in general and specifically with this transaction. In support, Plaintiffs state as follows:

  1. Background and Law
  2. Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleges that these Defendants among other Defendants, negligently caused injury to Plaintiff Steve Johnson (“Plaintiff” for the purpose of this motion) when steel trusses fell on Mr. Johnson on August 12, 2013.

    Defendants concede to regular contract with forum state in the affidavits attached to their motion to dismiss. Defendants admit to four or five deliveries a year in Maryland. There are also allegations that Defendants drove to Plaintiff’s employer in Maryland and received instructions from Plaintiff’s employer regarding how the cargo should be loaded and unloaded and other details that relate to acts or omissions in Maryland that may have caused Plaintiff’s injuries.

    To determine if a basis for personal jurisdiction exists, the court should resolve factual discrepancies in the complaint and affidavits in favor of the plaintiff. Crane v. New York Zoological Soc, 894 F.2d 454, 456 (D.C. Cir. 1990). Court are not hesitant to grant jurisdictional discovery to flush out questions of personal jurisdiction. See Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique v. Chi Mei, 395 F.3d 1315 (2005) (finding district court abused its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s request for jurisdictional discovery. See also Chesapeake Publishing Corp. v. Williams, 339 Md. 285 (1995) (federal district court granted venue discovery); Presbyterian Univ. Hosp. v. Wilson, 99 Md. App. 305 (1994).

  3. General Jurisdiction

  4. Plaintiffs believe that Defendants have engaged in regular systematic business in Maryland based on the admissions offered in their affidavits. As set forth above, Defendants admit to what Plaintiffs contend constitutes the regular conduct of business in Maryland. Defendants admit Mr. Sing and Minnesota Trucking that he had four or five deliveries a year in Maryland. To the extent that this Court disagrees, Plaintiffs request the opportunity to conduct discovery to allow Plaintiffs to fully understand Defendants general contacts with Maryland on a level playing field as opposed to merely the facts offered in these affidavits.

  5. Specific Jurisdiction

  6. While Plaintiff’s accident occurred in Virginia, his claims against Defendants involve acts and omissions that occurred in Maryland. Specifically, the allegation in this case is that Defendants received and failed to heed instructions given in Maryland regarding the unloading of the steel trusses that caused Plaintiff’s injury. This allegation is made both by Plaintiffs and by independent witnesses at the scene. See Exhibit A, Affidavit of Steve Johnson and Exhibit B Employee Incident and Injury Shirley Contracting Job Springfield Interchange August 12, 2013. Accordingly, Plaintiffs request that this Court conclude that these allegations amount to specific jurisdiction over Defendants. In the alternative, Plaintiffs request jurisdictional discovery to uncover more detail about Defendants contacts in Maryland on the date of this accident.

  7. Conclusion

  8. Plaintiffs request that Defendants Minnesota Trucking and Dennis Sing’s motion to dismiss be denied. In the alternative, Plaintiffs request sixty (60) days to depose Defendants to determine the extent of their general contacts with Maryland and their contacts that are specific to the instant case.

Respectfully submitted,
MILLER & ZOIS, LLC

Ronald V. Miller, Jr.
1 South St, #2450
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410)779-4600
(410)760-8922 (fax)

Contact Us For a Free Consultation

If you are hurt in a serious accident or are the victim of medical malpractice, contact our team of lawyers to discuss your case.
Call us now for help at (800) 553-8082

You can also get a FREE no obligation on-line consultation.

Client Reviews

  • They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives.
    ★★★★★
  • Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for.
    ★★★★★
  • Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone!
    ★★★★★
  • The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million.
    ★★★★★
  • I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois.
    ★★★★★
  • The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable.
    ★★★★★
  • The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement.
    ★★★★★
  • Miller and Zois is the best firm in the state of Maryland, and without their support, understanding, and just being there when I needed encouragement, I truly do not know how I would have succeeded without them.
    ★★★★★

Contact Us

Free Consultation (800) 553-8082 Call 24/7