Gangi v. Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc et al
Plaintiff: Frank Gangi
Defendant: Daniel Hanson, Bonnie Walker, Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc and Dwight Walker
Case Number: 1:2020cv11835
Filed: October 9, 2020
Court: US District Court for the District of Massachusetts
Presiding Judge: Richard G Stearns
Nature of Suit: Assault Libel & Slander
Cause of Action: 28 U.S.C. ยง 1332
Jury Demanded By: Both
Docket Report

This docket was last retrieved on November 10, 2020. A more recent docket listing may be available from PACER.

Date Filed Document Text
November 10, 2020 Filing 9 Judge Richard G. Stearns: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting in part and denying in part #6 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. Having removed this action from the Norfolk Superior Court on diversity grounds, defendants move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction. In the alternative, defendants seek a stay pending the resolution of a related litigation in South Carolina state court.According to the Complaint (dkt # 1-2), Massachusetts plaintiff Frank Gangi and South Carolina corporate defendant Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc. are both engaged in the business of brokering, buying, and selling aircraft parts. (The individual defendants, Daniel Hansen, Dwight Walker, and Bonnie Walker, are Tiger executives.) In 2018, ARO-D Enterprises, LLC and its principal Rudy Dixon acquired a Hawker 4000 aircraft from Nigeria. Dixon shipped the parts of the plane to Tiger in South Carolina and engaged Tiger to store the parts, but denied Tiger's request to sell the parts on consignment. In June of 2019, Dixon offered Gangi the opportunity to purchase and/or broker the sale of the parts. Although defendants had shipped certain parts to Gangi, they refused to deliver the remaining parts or permit Gangi to inspect them upon learning that Dixon had engaged plaintiff as the broker. Rather, defendants represented to Gangi (fraudulently, in plaintiff's view) that they were the agent and broker for Dixon/ARO-D with respect to the Hawker 4000, and sold certain parts to third parties. Gangi estimates that he would have netted approximately $1,250,000 from the sales of the parts controlled by Tiger. Gangi asserts claims for Intentional Interference with Contract (Count I), Intentional Interference with Prospective Contract (Count II), Unfair Trade Practices (Count III), and Libel (Count IV) (the basis for the libel claim is a letter from Walker to attorney Wes Few, stating that It is only through the injection of Frank Gangi into this program and his tactics that created the narrative from Rudy [Dixon] about trust." Compl. para. 65.) Defendants contend that a Massachusetts court may not exercise personal jurisdiction over them because they are beyond the reach of the state's long-arm statute, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 223A, 3. In defendants' characterization, they have not deliberated conducted any business in Massachusetts. Rather, they list parts for sale on a members-only website, and within the last ten years, sales to Massachusetts entities have amounted to only 3/100ths of 1 % of Tiger's revenues. Further, with respect to plaintiff, defendants note that the claims do not relate do aircraft parts plaintiff received in Massachusetts, but rather defendants' action/or non-action in South Carolina.For his part, Gangi asserts, and the court agrees, that the allegations support a prima facie case that the claims arise from defendants' "transacting business" in Massachusetts. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 203A 3(a). The Complaint alleges that defendants sent certain of the Hawker 4000 parts to plaintiff, and that further, Dwight Walker emailed Gangi on two occasions to propose a sale by Tiger for ARO-D's Hawker 4000 parts. That the solicitation did not come to fruition is no bar to the exercise of personal jurisdiction. See Cossart v. United Excel Corp., 804 F.3d 13, 19 (1st Cir. 2015) (discussing Haddad v. Taylor, 32 Mass. App. Ct. 332 (1992)).The court agrees with defendants, however, that "'considerations of "[w]ise judicial administration, giving regard to conservation of judicial resources and comprehensive disposition of litigation"'" warrant a stay of this case. Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 15 (1983), quoting Colorado River Water Conservation Dist.I v. U.S., 424 U.S. 800, 817 (1976). In March of 2020, ARO-D filed a complaint against Tiger and the Walker defendants concerning the rights to the Hawker 4000 parts in South Carolina state court. See Attachments to D. Walker Decl., Dkt # 6-1. According to ARO-D's complaint, it did not authorize Tiger to sell the Hawker 4000 parts by consignment, and Tiger has sold certain parts and retained the remainder without permission. Tiger denied these allegations, and in turn, filed a third-party complaint against Dixon, Gangi, and Gangi's company, T3 Aviation, LLC, asserting, inter alia, that Gangi interfered with Tiger's contractual rights with Dixon/ARO-D, and caused Dixon to break his promises of consignment to Tiger. Gangi and T3 also counterclaimed, seeking inter alia, a declaration of the absence of a contract between Tiger and ARO-D/Dixon. On balance, these circumstances weigh heavily in favor of a stay of this litigation. First, the resolution of the dispute in this case turns on the relationship of the parties with ARO-D/Dixon and a determination of which party had been granted the authority to deal in the Hawker 4000 parts as ARO-D's agent. ARO-D is not a party in this litigation, but is the plaintiff in the South Carolina litigation. Proceeding there with all three essential parties present will vastly help to avoid "piecemeal litigation." Colorado River, 424 U.S. at 818. Second, a South Carolina court has jurisdiction over the Hawker 4000 parts, the property whose rights are in dispute. See id. at 819. Finally, the South Carolina court assumed jurisdiction over the dispute half a year prior to the commencement of this case, there are no federal law issues to be decided, and there is no question of the South Carolina court's ability to protect the parties' rights. See id. at 818; Moses H. Cone, 460 U.S. at 25-26. Accordingly, defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is DENIED, and their request to stay this litigation pending the resolution of the South Carolina matter is ALLOWED. The parties are requested to file a joint statement informing the court of the progress of that case every 120 days, and within 14 days of any dispositive decisions. (Tang, Danni)
November 10, 2020 Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered. Case stayed pursuant to dkt # 9.(Tang, Danni)
October 30, 2020 Filing 8 AFFIDAVIT in Opposition re #6 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction with Incorporated Memorandum of Law filed by Frank Gangi. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1, #2 Exhibit 2, #3 Exhibit 3, #4 Exhibit 4, #5 Exhibit 5)(Osterberg, Eric)
October 30, 2020 Filing 7 MEMORANDUM in Opposition re #6 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction with Incorporated Memorandum of Law filed by Frank Gangi. (Osterberg, Eric)
October 16, 2020 Filing 6 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction with Incorporated Memorandum of Law by Daniel Hanson, Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc, Bonnie Walker, Dwight Walker. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A-Declaration of Dwight Walker, #2 Exhibit B-Declaration of Bonnie Walker, #3 Exhibit C-Declaration of Daniel Hansen)(Cain, Kevin)
October 9, 2020 Filing 5 Certified Copy of Notice of Removal Provided to Defense Counsel by Email (Halley, Taylor)
October 9, 2020 Filing 4 ELECTRONIC NOTICE of Case Assignment. Judge Richard G. Stearns assigned to case. If the trial Judge issues an Order of Reference of any matter in this case to a Magistrate Judge, the matter will be transmitted to Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley. (adminn, )
October 9, 2020 Filing 3 AMENDED DOCUMENT by Daniel Hanson, Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc, Bonnie Walker, Dwight Walker. Amendment to #1 Notice of Removal, AMENDED NOTICE OF REMOVAL. (Cain, Kevin)
October 9, 2020 Filing 2 Civil Cover Sheet & Category Sheet re #1 Notice of Removal, by Daniel Hanson, Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc, Bonnie Walker, Dwight Walker. (Cain, Kevin)
October 9, 2020 Filing 1 NOTICE OF REMOVAL by Daniel Hanson, Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc, Bonnie Walker ( Filing fee: $ 400, receipt number 0101-8456431 Fee Status: Filing Fee paid) (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Exhibit A, #3 Exhibit B, #4 Exhibit C)(Cain, Kevin)

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Defendant: Daniel Hanson
Represented By: Kevin C. Cain
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Defendant: Bonnie Walker
Represented By: Kevin C. Cain
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Defendant: Tiger Enterprises & Trading, Inc
Represented By: Kevin C. Cain
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Defendant: Dwight Walker
Represented By: Kevin C. Cain
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Plaintiff: Frank Gangi
Represented By: Eric C. Osterberg
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