December 12, 2018

Foley & Mansfield Miami attorneys Eddie Medina and Frank DelloRusso successfully represented our client, a stucco and plaster manufacturer, receiving a decision from the Third District Court of Appeal reversing the trial court’s denial of our client’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction in a matter out of Miami-Dade County, FL.

Defendant challenged personal jurisdiction in Florida on the grounds that it never targeted any business in Florida, despite Plaintiffs’ allegations of exposure to Defendant’s products in Florida in the 1970s. Defendant filed an affidavit stating that it never transacted business in Florida, never purposely directed conduct toward Florida, and never manufactured, distributed, sold, supplied, or installed any products in Florida.

The appellate court agreed with our client’s position, finding that Plaintiffs failed to present evidence that Defendant directed its products into Florida for distribution, how such products may have made their way to Florida and it what quantity. As a result, it found that Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of satisfying the constitutional due process prong of the personal jurisdiction analysis, and reversed the trial court’s order denying Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction.

This decision is another important contribution to the law of personal jurisdiction in Florida, as it builds on another recent successful personal jurisdiction challenge Foley & Mansfield mounted in the Fourth District Court of Appeal which clarified the appropriate standard for specific personal jurisdiction in product liability lawsuits brought against non-resident defendants in Florida.

The Third District Court of Appeal opinion confirms that when a non-resident defendant presents proof of lack of Florida contacts, the burden shifts to the Plaintiffs to present evidence that the non-resident defendant did purposely direct conduct to Florida.