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The “Long-Arm” of the Law (NY)

October 26, 2018

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This interesting New York action arose out of a crane accident that occurred in 2015. In <a href="">Jones v 260-261 Madison Ave. LLC</a>, Marine &amp; Industrial Supply Company (MISC) made a motion to dismiss all claims against it arguing the court lacked personal jurisdiction. MISC manufactured a sling that snapped and caused plaintiff’s injury, while 260-261 Madison Ave. LLC owned the premises and Skylift operated the crane.

MISC argued that it could not be subject to personal jurisdiction in New York as it was an Alabama company with its principal place of business in Mobile, and the sling sale negotiations took place in Alabama and Connecticut. MISC argued that it did not therefore have any contact with New York and was not subject to jurisdiction.

Skyline and Madison argued MISC is subject to general in personam jurisdiction in New York pursuant to CPLR§301 because MISC solicited business through its website and advertised it would be present at an expo in New York. Alternatively, Skyline and Madison argued that Marine  is subject to “long-arm” jurisdiction pursuant to CPLR§301(a)(3)(i) and (ii).

The Court ruled that MISC held itself out as a national vendor, derived revenue from interstate commerce, has offices in more than one state and conducted business in New York through its attendance at the Buffalo, New York expo. Further, Skyline and Madison provided proof that MISC was registered as an interstate carrier with the U.S Department of Transportation. This showing was sufficient to establish that the exercise of personal jurisdiction over MISC by this court was not a frivolous argument. Therefore, the Court denied MISC’s motion for dismissal without prejudice to renew upon the completion of limited discovery on the issue of personal jurisdiction.

Thanks to Jonathan R. Avolio for his contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="">Vito A. Pinto</a> with any questions.


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