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Civil Procedure

Exam 33
30 minutes

Fact Pattern

A woman and a man have both lived their entire lives in State A. The man once went to a gun show in State B where he bought a gun. Otherwise, neither the woman nor the man had ever left State A until the following events occurred.

The woman and the man went hunting for wild turkey at a State A game preserve. The man was carrying the gun he had purchased in State B. The man had permanently disabled the gun’s safety features to be able to react more quickly to a turkey sighting. The man dropped the gun and it accidentally fired, inflicting a serious chest wound on the woman. The woman was immediately flown to a hospital in neighboring State C, where she underwent surgery.

One week after the shooting accident, the man traveled to State C for business and took the opportunity to visit the woman in the hospital. During the visit, the woman’s attorney handed the man the summons and complaint in a suit the woman had initiated against the man in the United States District Court for the District of State C. Two days later, the woman was released from the hospital and returned home to State A where she spent weeks recovering.

The woman’s complaint alleges separate claims against the man: 1) a state-law negligence claim and 2) a federal claim under the Federal Gun Safety Act (Safety Act). The Safety Act provides a cause of action for individuals harmed by gun owners who alter the safety features of a gun that has traveled in interstate commerce. The Safety Act caps damages at $100,000 per incident, but does not preempt state causes of action. The woman’s complaint seeks damages of $100,000 on the Safety Act claim and $120,000 on the state-law negligence claim. Both sets of damages are sought as compensation for the physical suffering the woman experienced and the medical costs the woman incurred as a result of the shooting.

The man has moved to dismiss the complaint, asserting (a) lack of personal jurisdiction, (b) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, and (c) improper venue. State C’s jurisdictional statutes provide that state courts may exercise personal jurisdiction “to the limits allowed by the United States Constitution.”


Questions

  1. With respect to each asserted basis for dismissal, should the man’s motion to dismiss be granted? Explain.

Question 1

With respect to each asserted basis for dismissal, should the man’s motion to dismiss be granted? Explain.

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