United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
GREGORY A. PRESNELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
13) filed by Defendants The Balanced Body Center, P.A.
(henceforth, “Balanced Body”) and Philip A.
Arnone (“Arnone”) (collectively, the
“Movants”) and the response in opposition (Doc.
19) filed by the Plaintiff, Pelvic Floor Centers of America,
LLC (“PFCA”). On September 26, 2017, the Court
granted PFCA's request for jurisdictional discovery.
(Doc. 25). The Movants (Doc. 26) and PFCA (Doc. 27) have
filed supplements to their motion and response, respectively,
which the Court has also considered in resolving the instant
Plaintiff is a Florida limited liability company with its
primary place of business in Winter Park. (Doc. 1 at 1).
Defendant Arnone is a resident of North Carolina. (Doc. 1 at
2). He is the sole shareholder and officer of Defendant
Balanced Body, a North Carolina entity with its principal
place of business in that state. (Doc. 1 at 2). Arnone is a
chiropractor, operating a medical facility through Balanced
Body. (Doc. 12 at 3).
Michael Jordan (“Jordan”) holds the patent for a
medical device known as the “ExMi Pelvic Floor Therapy
Chair” (henceforth, the “Therapy Chair”).
(Doc. 1 at 3). He also owns and manages Defendants ExMi Fit,
LLC (“ExMi Fit”) and Magic Race, LLC
(“Magic Race”). (Doc. 1 at 3). Jordan, through
Magic, granted an exclusive licensing agreement for the
Therapy Chair to PFCA. (Doc. 1 t 3). On January 10, 2017,
Jordan notified PFCA that the exclusive licensing agreement
was being terminated. (Doc. 1 at 5). PFCA contends that
Jordan did so to allow Arnone and Balanced Body to market and
sell the Therapy Chair. (Doc. 1 at 5).
filed the instant suit on May 19, 2017. (Doc. 1). In Counts
IV and V, it asserts a claim against Arnone and Balanced
Body, respectively for tortious interference with a business
relationship. (Doc. 1 at 9, 11). In Count VI, it asserts a
claim for conspiracy to commit tortious interference against
Arnone, Balanced Body, Jordan and ExMi Fit. (Doc. 1 at 12).
PFCA also asserts claims for an accounting and injunctive
relief against Arnone and Balanced Body. (Doc. 1 at
of the instant motion, Defendants Arnone and Balanced Body
seek dismissal of these claims on the grounds that this Court
lacks personal jurisdiction over them.
determine whether it possesses personal jurisdiction over a
nonresident defendant, a district court must undertake a
two-part analysis. First, the court must determine whether
the forum state's long-arm statute provides a basis for
personal jurisdiction. If so, the court must then determine
whether sufficient minimum contacts exist between the
defendants and the forum state so as to satisfy
“traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice” under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. Robinson v. Giarmarco & Bill, P.C.,
74 F.3d 253, 256 (11th Cir. 1996) (quoting International
Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S.Ct. 154,
158, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945) (quotation omitted)).
defendant challenges personal jurisdiction by submitting
affidavit evidence in support of its position, the burden
traditionally shifts back to the plaintiff to produce
evidence supporting jurisdiction. Louis Vuitton
Malletier, S.A. v. Mosseri, 736 F.3d 1339, 1350 (11th
Cir. 2013). The burden does not return to the plaintiff when
the defendant's affidavits contain only conclusory
assertions that the defendant is not subject to jurisdiction.
Id. If the burden does shift back to the plaintiff,
then the plaintiff must provide enough information concerning
the nonresident defendant's contacts with the forum to
withstand a motion for a directed verdict. Meier ex rel.
Meier v. Sun Int'l Hotels, Ltd., 288 F.3d 1264,
1268-69 (11th Cir. 2002). A district court must view the
jurisdictional evidence in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Meier, 288 F.3d at 1269.
alleges that Arnone and Balanced Body, acting outside of
Florida, tortiously interfered with its licensing agreement,
thereby causing PFCA to suffer an injury in Florida. In
pertinent part, Florida's long-arm statute provides that
(1) Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this
state, who personally or through an agent does any of the
acts enumerated in this subsection thereby submits himself or
herself … to the jurisdiction of the courts of this
state for any cause ...