to the Colorado Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Case No.
Attorneys for Petitioner: Waltz Reeves Richard A. Waltz
Christopher R. Reeves Denver, Colorado
Attorneys for Respondent Allister Mark Boustred: Keating
Wagner Polidori Free, P.C. Michael O'B. Keating Deirdre
E. Ostrowski Melissa A. Hailey Denver, Colorado
Attorneys for Respondent Horizon Hobby, Inc.: Hall &
Evans, LLC Kenneth H. Lyman Ryan L. Winter Conor P. Boyle
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Attorneys Information Exchange
Group: The Komyatte Law Firm, LLC Paul J. Komyatte Lakewood,
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae The Chamber of Commerce of the
United States of America: Kittredge LLC Daniel D. Domenico
Denver, Colorado MRDLaw Michael Francisco Denver, Colorado
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Colorado Defense Lawyers
Association: McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP
William K. Rounsborg Greenwood Village, Colorado
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Colorado Trial Lawyers
Association: The Gilbert Law Group, P.C. Anne M. Dieruf
Arvada, Colorado Ollanik Law LLC Stuart Ollanik Boulder,
This case requires us to examine the stream of commerce
doctrine and to determine the prerequisites for a state to
exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant. We conclude that World-Wide Volkswagen
Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980), sets out the
controlling stream of commerce doctrine. This doctrine
establishes that a forum state may assert jurisdiction where
a plaintiff shows that a defendant placed goods into the
stream of commerce with the expectation that the goods will
be purchased in the forum state. Applying this doctrine to
the case before us, we conclude that the plaintiff made a
sufficient showing under this doctrine to withstand a motion
Facts and Procedural History
In 2012, Respondent Allister Mark Boustred, a Colorado
resident, purchased a replacement main rotor holder for his
radio-controlled helicopter from a retailer in Fort Collins,
Colorado. The main rotor holder was allegedly manufactured by
Petitioner Align Corporation Limited ("Align"), a
Taiwanese corporation, and distributed by Respondent Horizon
Hobby, Inc. ("Horizon"), a Delaware-based
corporation. Align has no physical presence in the United
States, but it contracts with U.S.-based distributors to sell
its products to retailers who, in turn, sell them to
consumers. At the time of the incident at issue here, Align
sold its products throughout the United States through four
U.S.-based distributors, including Horizon.
Boustred installed the main rotor holder to his helicopter
and was injured in Colorado when the blades held by the main
rotor holder released and struck him in the eye. He filed
claims of strict liability and negligence against both Align
and Horizon in Colorado.
Align filed a motion to dismiss Boustred's claims on the
ground that Colorado lacked personal jurisdiction over it.
The district court denied the motion, concluding that
Boustred had made a prima facie showing of personal
jurisdiction under Colorado's long-arm statute and the
U.S. Constitution. In support of this determination, and
resolving any controverted facts in favor of Boustred, the
district court found that Boustred's "allegations
and supporting documents show that Align injected a
substantial number of products into the stream of commerce
knowing that those products would reach Colorado" and
that Align "took steps to market its products in the
U.S. and Colorado." The district court also noted that
Boustred's allegations were "supported by documents
that purportedly show that Align provided marketing materials
to its distributors, attended trade shows in the U.S. where
Align actively marketed its products, and established
channels through which consumers could receive assistance
with their Align products." The district court further
determined that jurisdiction over Align was reasonable both
because Align would suffer no greater burden in defending
this suit in Colorado than it would in any other U.S. forum
and because Colorado has a substantial interest in protecting
its residents from faulty products.
Align then asked the district court to certify the personal
jurisdiction question for interlocutory appeal under C.A.R.
4.2, and the district court granted the motion. A division of
the court of appeals accepted jurisdiction and affirmed the
district court's ruling. Boustred v. Align Corp.
Ltd., 2016 COA 67, ¶¶ 1-2, ___ P.3d ___. Align
argued that the district court's ruling ignored J.
McIntyre Mach., Ltd. v. Nicastro, 564 U.S. 873 (2011).
However, the division determined that the plurality opinion
of J. McIntyre was not binding on Colorado courts
and that instead Justice Breyer's narrower concurrence
controlled. See Boustred, ¶¶ 23-24.
Interpreting that concurrence and the concurrence in
Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Superior Court, 480 U.S.
102 (1987), the division held that the U.S. Supreme
Court's decision in World-Wide Volkswagen
remains the prevailing law articulating the stream of
commerce doctrine. Boustred, ¶ 23. Applying
that doctrine, the division agreed with the district court
that Boustred had made a sufficient prima facie showing of
Colorado's specific personal jurisdiction over Align.
See id. at ¶¶ 24, 27.
Align appealed, and we granted certiorari.
This case presents the first opportunity for this court to
address the impact of two U.S. Supreme Court plurality
opinions-Asahi and J. McIntyre-on
Colorado's stream of commerce jurisprudence. We begin by
reviewing the law of personal jurisdiction generally and its
application in stream of commerce cases specifically. We
consider the three primary U.S. Supreme Court cases exploring
the stream of commerce doctrine-World-Wide
Volkswagen, Asahi, and J. McIntyre-and
conclude that World-Wide Volkswagen remains the
controlling precedent. Next, we apply the stream of commerce
doctrine to the case before us and conclude that Boustred
made a sufficient showing under this doctrine to withstand a
motion to dismiss.
Standard of Review
"Whether a court may exercise personal jurisdiction over
a defendant is a question of law, which we review de
novo." Griffith v. SSC Pueblo Belmont Operating Co.
LLC, 2016 CO 60M, ¶ 9, 381 P.3d 308, 312, as
modified on denial of reh'g (Oct. 17, 2016).
Similarly, when a court addresses a motion to dismiss based
solely on documentary evidence, we review de novo whether a
plaintiff established a prima facie case of personal
jurisdiction necessary to defeat a motion to dismiss.
Archangel Diamond Corp. v. Lukoil, 123 P.3d 1187,
1192 (Colo. 2005). In doing so, we review the documentary
evidence de novo. Id. at 1195.
For a Colorado court to exercise jurisdiction over a
non-resident defendant, the court must comply with
Colorado's long-arm statute and constitutional due
process. Id. at 1193. Colorado's long-arm
statute confers "the maximum jurisdiction permitted by
the due process clauses of the United States and Colorado
constitutions." Id. (citing Keefe v.
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C., 40 P.3d 1267,
1270 (Colo. 2002)); see also U.S. Const. amend. XIV;
Colo. Const. art. II, § 25; § 13-1-124, C.R.S.
(2017). Therefore, we engage in a constitutional due process
analysis to determine whether a Colorado court may exercise
jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant. Magill v.
Ford Motor Co., 2016 CO 57, ¶ 14, 379 P.3d 1033,
1037, reh'g denied (Oct. 3, 2016).
The due process clauses of the United States and Colorado
constitutions operate to limit a state's exercise of
personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants. See
Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466
U.S. 408, 413-14 (1984); Keefe, 40 P.3d at 1270.
Specifically, due process requires that a non-resident
corporate defendant have "certain minimum contacts with
[the forum] such that the maintenance of the suit does not
offend 'traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice.'" Int'l Shoe Co. v.
Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (quoting
Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463 (1940)).
"The quantity and nature of the minimum contacts
required depends on whether the plaintiff alleges ...