United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING DEFENDANT
COMMUNITY HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC. FOR LACK OF PERSONAL
JURISDICTION AND DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF'S
REQUEST TO TRANSFER
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for consideration is whether this Court may exercise personal
jurisdiction over defendant Community Health Systems, Inc.
(“CHSI”). During the briefing of the motion to
vacate an arbitration award filed by Weirton Medical Center,
Inc. (“Weirton”) (ECF No. 30), defendant CHSI
filed a response (ECF No. 43) in which it purports to enter a
special appearance to challenge whether this Court may
exercise personal jurisdiction over it.
Court construes CHSI's challenge to personal jurisdiction
as a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction. There has been full briefing in which the
parties have set out their contentions. This memorandum
opinion and order will specifically address the issue of
personal jurisdiction as to defendant CHSI.
reasons set forth below, this Court finds that it does not
have personal jurisdiction over defendant CHSI, and thus,
defendant CHSI's motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction (ECF No. 43) is granted. Accordingly, defendant
Community Health Systems, Inc., is hereby dismissed from this
Quorum Intensive Resources (“QIR”), an entity
affiliated with defendant Quorum Health Resources
(“QHR”), was once an indirect subsidiary of CHSI.
QIR initiated an arbitration against Weirton. The arbitrator
issued an award in QIR's favor and denied all of
Weirton's counterclaims. This Court then affirmed that
award and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit affirmed this Court's ruling on appeal.
October 13, 2015, Weirton filed this action against the
above-named defendants, including CHSI. This Court then
granted the defendants' motion to compel arbitration in
this new action and stayed this civil action pending
arbitration. ECF No. 22. The arbitrator issued an award
dismissing all of Weirton's claims, holding:
[Weirton]'s allegations directed to CHS[I] are
conclusory, vague and/or on their face based upon only
“information and belief” and/or speculation.
Although not pled, [Weirton] seems to suggest that this
Arbitrator should pierce the corporate veil of either QHR or
QIR and hold CHS[I] liable for the actions of QHR and/or QIR
simply because the parties are related. CHS[I] is
indisputably a holding company, with no alleged direct
connection with any claim. It has no place in this proceeding
for these reasons alone.
ECF No. 33-1 at 2-3.
then filed a motion to vacate the arbitration award (ECF No.
30) under § 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16. During the
briefing of Weirton's motion (ECF No. 30), defendant CHSI
raised the issue of personal jurisdiction in its response
(ECF No. 43).
response to CHSI's response in opposition to the motion
to vacate, Weirton filed a motion for jurisdictional
discovery (ECF No. 50). CHSI opposed the motion for discovery
and requested that the Court dismiss CHSI from this action
for lack of personal jurisdiction. ECF No. 54.
Court directed the parties to conduct limited discovery
regarding the nature and extent of defendant CHSI's
minimum contacts with West Virginia as they pertain
specifically to the claims alleged in this civil action
dealing with personal jurisdiction. ECF No. 56. This Court found
that limited jurisdictional discovery was necessary to
determine whether CHSI had sufficient minimum contacts with
West Virginia for this Court to exercise personal
jurisdiction over CHSI.
then engaged in jurisdictional discovery and filed a
“Supplemental Memorandum in Opposition to the Personal
Jurisdiction Challenge Asserted by CHSI in its Response in
Opposition to Weirton's Motion to Vacate” which
included extensive discovery as to personal jurisdiction. ECF
No. 78. CHSI then filed a response (ECF No. 79) and Weirton
filed a reply to CHSI's response (ECF No. 80).