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Hart v. Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 22, 2014

REBECCA HART and MICHAEL HART, Plaintiffs
v.
BED BATH & BEYOND, INC., et al., Defendants; BED BATH & BEYOND, INC., Third-Party Plaintiff
v.
NHG LIQUIDATION, INC. F/K/A NAPA HOME & GARDEN, INC., et al., Third-Party Defendants

For Rebecca Hart, Michael Hart, Plaintiffs: David E Haynes, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Cochran Firm, Washington, DC.

For Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Defendant: Camille E Shora, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker LLP, McLean, VA; Catherine A Hanrahan, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker LLP, Washington, DC; William Gerald Gandy, PRO HAC VICE, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker, McLean, VA.

For Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., ThirdParty Plaintiffs: Camille E Shora, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker LLP, McLean, VA; Catherine A Hanrahan, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker LLP, Washington, DC; William Gerald Gandy, PRO HAC VICE, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman and Dicker, McLean, VA.

For Losorea Packaging, Inc., ThirdParty Defendant: D Marc Sarata, Wayne G Travell, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Leach Travell Britt PC, McLean, VA.

For Julie Stephens, Randolph Stephens, ThirdParty Defendants: Michael J Budow, LEAD ATTORNEY, Budow and Noble PC, Bethesda, MD.

Page 838

MEMORANDUM OPINION

PETER J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Rebecca and Michael Hart have sued Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. (" BBB" ) for injuries sustained as a result of their

Page 839

friends' purchase and use of a product called " Firelites." BBB has in turn sued Losorea Packaging, Inc. (" Losorea" ) for common law indemnification and contribution,[1] and in response Losorea has filed a Corrected Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Paper No. 33). The Court authorized jurisdictional discovery, asking the parties to submit supplemental briefing, and held a hearing. Following oral argument, the Court DEFERRED ruling on Losorea's Motion and permitted further jurisdictional discovery and further supplemental briefing. The Harts subsequently amended their Complaint to add Losorea, Ashland, Inc. (" Ashland" ), and CKS Packaging, Inc. (" CKS" ) as direct Defendants to the action. Various cross-claims followed.[2]

Losorea has now moved to dismiss the Harts' Second Amended Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction, incorporating by reference the arguments Losorea set forth in support of its Motion to Dismiss against BBB. The Harts adopt the arguments BBB made in opposition to Losorea's Motion to Dismiss filed against it. Losorea has also moved to dismiss BBB's crossclaims for lack of personal jurisdiction, as well as on the grounds tat the cross-claims are duplicative of BBB's third party claims. Having reviewed the parties' pleadings, the Court DENIES Defendant Losorea's Corrected Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Paper No. 33), DENIES its Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint Filed by Plaintiffs for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (Paper No. 92), and DENIES its Motion to Dismiss Cross-Claims (Paper No. 99).

I.

The case arises out of a visit by the Harts to the home of their friends Randolph and Julie Stephens in Calvert County, Maryland over the Memorial Day weekend in 2011. The Harts were sitting outside near a " Firelites" firepot when one of their hosts began re-filling the pot with citronella " pourable eco-fuel gel." The " pourable eco-fuel gel" ignited, then allegedly exploded into a six to eight foot fireball, which caused extensive burns to Rebecca Hart and singed Michael Hart's leg hair.

The Harts allege that the " Firelites" fire pot was purchased at BBB, that the " pourable fuel-gel" was produced by Fuel Barons, and that the fuel gel and fire pot were packaged by Losorea under the label of Napa Home & Garden. The Harts additionally allege that CKS designed and manufactured the bottle caps used to seal the bottle of fuel gel, and that the fuel gel contained a product (" Klucel® " ) manufactured by Ashland as a gelling agent.

The Harts initially filed suit against BBB, which turn filed a Third Party Complaint against Napa Home & Garden, Fuel Barons, Losorea, and Randolph and Julie Stephens. The Harts' Second Amended ...


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