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IN RE SKI TRAIN FIRE IN KAPRUN

March 15, 2004.

In re Ski Train Fire in Kaprun, Austria on November 11, 2000, This Document Relates To: Defendant Siemens Corporation


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHIRA SCHEINDLIN, District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

Karen Filkil, whose husband and son died in a ski train fire on November 11, 2000, in Kaprun, Austria, brings this action against numerous defendants.*fn1 Defendant Siemens Corporation ("Siemens Corp.") now moves to dismiss this action against it on the following grounds: (1) lack of personal jurisdiction, (2) failure to state a claim, (3) failure to comply with the relevant statutes of limitations, and (4) forum non conveniens.*fn2 For the reasons set forth below, Siemens Corp.'s motion to dismiss for Page 2 lack of personal jurisdiction is granted.*fn3

 I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

  A. The Moving Defendant

  Siemens Corp. is a U.S. corporation with its principal place of business in New York, New York. See Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("Complaint") ¶ 8. Siemens Corp. is alleged to have "designed, manufactured, constructed, supplied, modified and installed the electrical, communications, control and safety-related systems and components for use on the train and tunnel." Id. ¶ 40.

  B. Jurisdictional Allegations

  Filkil argues that this Court has jurisdiction over Siemens Corp. based on its direct contacts with Texas, i.e., its filing of a "Texas Franchise Tax Public Information Report" ("Tax Report") and online employee recruitment. In the alternative, she contends that Siemens Corp. does business in Texas through its parent, subsidiary, and affiliates. See Plaintiff's Brief in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss ("Pl. Opp.") at 3-9.

  1. Direct Contacts

  a. Tax Report

  Filkil alleges that Siemens Corp. filed a "Texas Franchise Tax Public Information Report dated November 22, 2003." Page 3 See Pl. Opp. at 7-8. The Tax Report covers the period from October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002. See Tax Report, Ex. 1 to 1/7/04 Declaration of Brant W. Bishop, Counsel for Siemens Corp. ("Bishop Dec."). Notably, the report indicates that Siemens Corp. reported no gross receipts, taxable capital, or tax liability in Texas. Id.

  b. Website

  Filkil avers that the "Siemens USA website allows Texas residents to apply online for jobs within the Siemens Corporation (See siemens.usa.com careers*fn4)." Pl. Opp. at 8. The website allows Internet users to search Siemens Corp.'s job listings and submit resumes for available positions, and is not restricted to particular states. See http://careers.peopleclick.com/Client40__Siemens/bul/external_page s/jobsearch.asp (last visited March 3, 2004).*fn5

  3. Indirect Contacts

  Filkil also alleges jurisdiction over Siemens Corp. based on the Texas contacts of its parent company (Siemens AG), subsidiary (Siemens Fund), and affiliates.

  a. Siemens AG Page 4

  Filkil asserts that Siemens AG has "admitted to a presence in all 50 states." Pl. Opp. at 8-9. Not surprisingly, Siemens Corp. denies that its parent made such a concession, but admits to the existence of online information describing the members of the "Siemens family of corporation [s]" as having employees spanning the fifty ...


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