Foley & Mansfield Miami attorneys Eddie Medina and Frank DelloRusso successfully represented our client, a joint compound manufacturer, receiving a decision from the Fourth 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 Broward County, FL.
Defendant challenged personal jurisdiction in Florida on the grounds that it did not market or sell its products in Florida during the 1970s, when Plaintiff alleged exposure to Defendant’s products. Defendant filed an affidavit stating that it did not have any contacts with Florida prior to 1994. The appellate court agreed with our client’s position, finding that Plaintiffs failed to establish that Defendant had sufficient constitutional “minimum contacts” with Florida to be subject to jurisdiction in Florida. The appellate court reversed and remanded for entry of an order dismissing Defendant from the case.
This decision is an important contribution to the law of personal jurisdiction in Florida, as it clarifies how the “arise out of or relate to” standard for specific personal jurisdiction should be properly applied in product liability lawsuits brought against non-resident defendants in Florida. It confirms that the relevant non-resident defendant contacts which satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court’s “minimum contacts” analysis (see Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.) are those occurring at the time of the alleged injury.