United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, London
RUTH BYRD, Administratrix of the Estate of Ardie Byrd, Plaintiff,
TRI-STATE HEALTH AND REHABILITATION, et al., Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
E. Wier United States District Judge.
January 2018, Ruth Byrd, acting as Administratrix of the
Estate of Ardie Byrd, sued four out-of-state
Defendants-Tri-State Health and Rehabilitation; Tri-State
Manor, LLC; Dr. Luis Pannochia; and Heartland Medical, P.C.-in
Clay Circuit Court. DE #1-1 (Complaint). The suit,
essentially, concerns medical treatment Mr. Byrd received
from March 3-18, 2016, at “Tri-State Health and
Rehabilitation in Harrogate, Tennessee.” Id.
at ¶¶ 18-19. Following diversity removal, the
parties have fully briefed two motions to dismiss.
See DE ##9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16; see also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2). Upon full consideration, and after
assuring itself of the existence of subject-matter
jurisdiction, see DE #27 (Order), the Court
GRANTS DE ##9 & 10 and dismisses this
case, without prejudice,  for lack of personal jurisdiction over
a federal court sits in diversity, ” as the Court does
here, “it may exercise personal jurisdiction over an
out-of-state defendant only if a court of the forum state
could do so.” Newberry v. Silverman, 789 F.3d
636, 641 (6th Cir. 2015). Accordingly, the Court must first
determine whether “the state's long-arm statute . .
. permit[s] the exercise of jurisdiction.” Id.
Indisputably, all Defendants are nonresidents of the
Kentucky, as the parties perceive relevant here, a court may
exercise personal jurisdiction over a person who acts
directly or by an agent, as to a claim arising from the
1. Transacting any business in th[e] Commonwealth;
2. Contracting to supply services or goods in th[e]
Commonwealth; . . . [or]
4. Causing tortious injury in th[e] Commonwealth by an act or
omission outside th[e] Commonwealth if he regularly does or
solicits business, or engages in any other persistent course
of conduct, or derives substantial revenue from goods used or
consumed or services rendered in th[e] Commonwealth, provided
that the tortious injury occurring in th[e] Commonwealth
arises out of the doing or soliciting of business or a
persistent course of conduct or derivation of substantial
revenue within the Commonwealth[.]
KRS 454.210(2)(a)(1), (2), (4). “When jurisdiction over a
person is based solely upon this section, only a claim
arising from acts enumerated in this section may be asserted
against him.” KRS 454.210(2)(b).
this-Kentucky's long-arm statute-“personal
jurisdiction cannot be exercised over a non-resident
defendant simply because it has engaged in conduct or
activity that fits within one or more subsections of KRS
454.210(2)(a). The plaintiff must
also show that his claim is one that arises from the conduct
or activities described in the
subsection.” Caesars Riverboat Casino, LLC
v. Beach, 336 S.W.3d 51, 55 (Ky. 2011) (emphasis added).
While courts construe the provisions of Kentucky's
long-arm statute “liberally, ” the statutory
limits “upon jurisdiction must be observed as
defined.” Id. at 56. “[E]ven when the
defendant's conduct and activities fall within one of the
enumerated categories, the plaintiff's claim still must
‘arise' from that conduct or activity before
long-arm jurisdiction exists. Claims based upon contacts,
conduct, and activities which may not fairly be said to meet
one of these explicit categories must be held to be outside
of the reach of the statute[.]” Id. (rejecting
the notion that Kentucky's long-arm statute reaches the
outer limits of federal due process).
Caesars, the Kentucky Supreme Court refused the
argument that a slip-and-fall claim “arose from”
extensive advertising and solicitation activity in the
Commonwealth, although that advertising was the but-for cause
for the plaintiff visiting the out-of-state fall location.
336 S.W.3d at 58. Instead, the high court ruled, a
plaintiff's “cause of action must have originated
from, or came [sic] into being, as a result of” the
defendant's relevant activities in Kentucky. Id.
the wrongful acts of the defendant alleged in the
plaintiff's complaint must originate from the actions or
activities that form the applicable statutory predicate for
assertion of long-arm jurisdiction. Conversely, the statutory
foundation for the assertion of long-arm jurisdiction must be
the source of the plaintiff's cause of action. If there
is a reasonable and direct nexus between the wrongful acts
alleged in the complaint and the statutory predicate for
long-arm-jurisdiction, then jurisdiction is properly
exercised. . . . Trial courts will ultimately have to depend
upon a common sense analysis, giving the benefit of the doubt
in favor of jurisdiction.
Id. at 58-59.
The Kentucky Supreme Court's application is worthy of
The wrongful act alleged in Appellee's claim is the
failure of Appellants to keep their premises safe for
business invitees by negligently permitting spilled butter to
remain on its flooring and/or failing to warn its customers
of the danger. The statutory predicate proffered for
exercising personal jurisdiction over Appellants is KRS
454.210(2)(a)(1), “[t]ransacting any business in this
Commonwealth, ” which here consists of Appellants'
extensive advertising, direct mail solicitations, a rewards
program, and extensive civic and charitable activities. A
comparison of the wrongful acts underlying Appellee's
claim to the Appellants' conduct and activities in this
Commonwealth yields the conclusion that the wrongful conduct
has no relation at all to the business Appellants transact in
this Commonwealth. That is, ...