STEPHEN D. KNOX; JEAN KNOX, Plaintiffs, Appellants,
METALFORMING, INC., Defendant, Appellant, SCHECHTL MASCHINENBAU GMBH, Defendant, Appellee.
APPEALS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS HON. GEORGE A. O'TOOLE, JR.,
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Benjamin R. Zimmermann, with whom Stacey L. Pietrowicz and
Sugarman and Sugarman, P.C. were on brief, for Stephen and
F. Flores, with whom Eric V. Skelly, Thaddeus M. Lenkiewicz,
and Manning Gross & Massenburg LLP, were on brief, for
Frederick W. Reif, with whom Marie E. Chafe, Cornell &
Gollub, Debra Tama, and Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman &
Dicker, LLP, were on brief, for Schechtl Maschinenbau GmbH.
Lynch, Stahl, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
Knox's hand was badly injured at his work at Cape Cod
Copper (CCC) in October 2016 when he operated a machine that
was manufactured by defendant Schechtl Maschinenbau GmbH, a
German company. The machine had been sold to CCC by defendant
MetalForming, Inc., an American company located in Georgia
and Schechtl's U.S. distributor.
question on appeal is whether there is personal jurisdiction
over Schechtl, named as a defendant by Knox and as a
cross-claim defendant by MetalForming. The district court
dismissed the claims against Schechtl, finding that Schechtl
had not purposefully availed itself of the privilege of doing
business in Massachusetts. Knox v. MetalForming,
Inc., 303 F.Supp.3d 179, 184 (D. Mass. 2018).
district court did not permit jurisdictional discovery.
Id. at 187. The following facts are undisputed.
October 2016, Stephen D. Knox, plaintiff here along with his
wife, Jean, was injured while using a Schechtl MAX 310,
motor-driven metal-bending machine. The injury occurred at
CCC, Knox's place of employment, located in Lakeville,
Massachusetts. When Knox inadvertently hit the foot pedal of
CCC's MAX 310, the machine activated, crushing his left
the manufacturer of the MAX 310, is headquartered in Edling,
Germany and maintains no operations in the United States. The
company's marketing materials say that Schechtl
manufactures the "most popular architectural sheet metal
folders in the world."
sells its machines to United States customers through
MetalForming, a separate and independently owned U.S.
distribution company. Schechtl's distribution agreement
("the agreement") with MetalForming gives
MetalForming the exclusive right to distribute Schechtl's
products in the "Contract Territory," which
comprises Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
agreement outlines the procedure for selling Schechtl's
machinery. The purchasing end user ("the
purchaser") places an order with MetalForming, which in
turn acquires the machine from Schechtl. MetalForming then
sends a purchase order, naming the purchaser, to Schechtl in
Germany. Under the agreement, MetalForming must include
"technical and other data" in the purchase order,
because that information is "of importance for the
ordered product, the supply contract, and its
then chooses whether to accept the purchase order. If it does
accept, it issues a written order confirmation, which
"govern[s] the product to be delivered, its technical
qualities, the delivery price, the place of delivery, the
time of delivery as well as all other relevant contractual
then manufactures the machine to the purchaser's
specifications. The agreement provides that Schechtl
"reserves the right, in the exercise of its sole
discretion, to discontinue the manufacture or distribution of
any Product without incurring any obligation to
the machine is ready, Schechtl delivers it to a "freight
forwarder or other transport agency" in Germany, at
which point ownership passes to MetalForming. The record does
not detail the ordinary shipment process after that point,
but, as we describe below, it does show how the MAX 310 that
injured Knox came to CCC.
the agreement, MetalForming is responsible for installation
at the purchaser's site and for training the
purchaser's personnel in the proper use of the machine.
The agreement does, however, provide that it may "become
necessary that installation work be conducted under the
direction of a" Schechtl technician. And there is