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.

IN RE SKI TRAIN FIRE IN KAPRUN

November 19, 2004.

In re Ski Train Fire in Kaprun, Austria on November 11, 2000. This Document Relates To: Defendant Beton-und Monierbau, G.m.b.H.


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

OPINION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

  Plaintiffs, the relatives of Americans who died in a ski train fire on November 11, 2000, in Kaprun, Austria, brought this action against numerous defendants. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL Panel") consolidated all suits related to the Kaprun ski train fire for pretrial purposes before this Court.*fn1 Defendant Beton-und Monierbau, G.m.b.H. ("Beton") now moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, insufficiency of process and/or insufficiency of service of process, and forum non conveniens.*fn2 For the reasons set forth below, Beton's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted.*fn3

  II. BACKGROUND

  A. Moving Defendant

  Beton is an Austrian corporation specializing in underground construction and the New Austrian Tunnelling Method ("NATM"), with its principal place of business in Innsbruck, Austria.*fn4 Plaintiffs allege that Beton "designed, engineered and manufactured, constructed and/or maintained" the tunnel in which the Kaprun ski train fire took place.*fn5

  B. Procedural History

  Plaintiffs had previously filed suit against Beton in the District of Connecticut, and the MDL Panel transferred the Connecticut action to this Court.*fn6 On March 19, 2003 this Court dismissed the Connecticut action for lack of personal jurisdiction, and granted leave for the plaintiffs to refile in an appropriate jurisdiction.*fn7 On November 4, 2003, plaintiffs refiled their complaint against Beton in the District of Massachusetts.*fn8 The MDL panel subsequently transferred the case to this Court on February 6, 2004.*fn9

  C. Jurisdictional Allegations

  Plaintiffs allege that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Beton because Beton "is engaged in continuous and systematic business activities within the State of Massachusetts and [the District of Massachusetts]."*fn10 Specifically, plaintiffs argue that Beton "took significant steps to secure its role in a least two public contracts in Massachusetts since 1998," namely, the Central Artery Tunnel Project ("Big Dig") and the South Boston Piers Transitway Project ("Piers Project").*fn11 1. Big Dig

  Plaintiffs claim that Beton applied to be prequalified by Massachusetts as a contractor for the Big Dig project.*fn12 Plaintiffs argue that Beton's prequalification was "a necessary and substantial step in the bidding process" for the Big Dig, and required Beton to provide detailed information to Massachusetts about the company's finances, experience, and prior projects.*fn13 The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subsequently prequalified Beton for the I-93 Leverett Circle/Storrow Drive Connectors, contract number C19E1, which was one aspect of the larger Big Dig project.*fn14

  Plaintiffs provided information alleging that after a contractor is prequalified, the subsequent Big Dig bidding process is "time-consuming and expensive."*fn15 Specifically, plaintiffs contend that the bidding process for contract C19E1 required attending a pre-bid conference and a site tour on March 16, 1998, a pre-bid meeting on May 13, 1998, and spending over six million dollars.*fn16 However, in the end, Beton was not awarded a contract to work on any aspect of the Big Dig project.*fn17 Additionally, the only evidence of Beton's participation in the bidding process beyond prequalification is the fact that Beton is included in a Purchase Distribution Bidders List for contract C12E1 of the Big Dig.*fn18

  2. Piers Project

  Plaintiffs contend that Beton participated in the Piers Project administered by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.*fn19 According to plaintiffs, Beton's initial involvement included prequalification as a subcontractor specializing in NATM and engaging in the bidding process with Modern Continental, the primary contractor.*fn20 Modern Continental ...


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.