Larimer County District Court No. 13CV31464 Honorable C. Michelle Brinegar, Judge
Keating Wagner Polidori Free, P.C., Michael O'B. Keating, Deirdre E. Ostrowski, Melissa A. Hailey, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee
Hall & Evans, LLC, Kenneth H. Lyman, Ryan L. Winter, Connor P. Boyle, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee
The Waltz Law Firm, Richard A. Waltz, Christopher R. Reeves, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant
¶ 1 In this interlocutory appeal, defendant Align Corporation Limited (Align) appeals the trial court's order denying its C.R.C.P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. We accepted Align's C.A.R. 4.2 petition to address the effect of the United States Supreme Court's plurality opinion in J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, 564 U.S. ___, 131 S.Ct. 2780 (2011), on Colorado's personal jurisdiction framework under Archangel Diamond Corp. v. Lukoil, 123 P.3d 1187 (Colo. 2005). The Colorado Supreme Court has yet to directly address, after the J. McIntyre decision, the proper test to be applied when evaluating specific jurisdiction based on a stream of commerce theory.
¶ 2 We conclude that Justice Breyer's concurrence in the judgment in J. McIntyre - relying on the stream of commerce theory articulated in the United States Supreme Court's majority opinion in World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980) - constitutes the Court's holding and guides our evaluation of the specific jurisdiction question posed here. We further conclude that Archangel remains precedential authority in the wake of J. McIntyre, and consequently, we affirm the trial court's denial of Align's motion to dismiss.
¶ 3 Align is a Taiwanese company that manufactures and sells remote control helicopters and related parts. Align has no physical corporate presence in the United States, but it engages distributors in the United States who sell Align's products to retailers who, in turn, sell the products to consumers. When the incident at issue here arose, Align had engaged four distributors in the United States: defendant Horizon Hobby, Inc. (Horizon); Assurance Services, Inc.; Heli Wholesaler, Inc.; and GrandRC, LLC.
¶ 4 Plaintiff, Allister Mark Boustred, purchased a remote control T-Rex 450SA ARF model helicopter manufactured by Align. Boustred later purchased a main rotor holder, the part that attaches the main rotor to the helicopter, from Hobby Town Unlimited, Inc., a retail store in Fort Collins, Colorado. Align manufactured the main rotor holder, and Horizon - which has an exclusive distribution agreement with Align for the T-Rex 450SA ARF model helicopters - distributed it. Boustred alleges that the main rotor holder broke during testing and caused the main rotor to release and strike him, resulting in the loss of an eye.
¶ 5 Boustred filed strict product liability and negligence claims against Align and Horizon, among others, in Larimer County alleging that the main rotor holder allegedly malfunctioned. After Boustred served Align in Taiwan, Align asked the trial court to quash service and dismiss all claims against it for lack of personal jurisdiction under C.R.C.P. 12(b)(2). The trial court found that, under Archangel, it could assert specific jurisdiction over Align, and denied the motion.
¶ 6 Later, the trial court granted Align's motion for certification pursuant to C.A.R. 4.2. We accepted the appeal.
II. Personal Jurisdiction