Thursday, April 12, 2018

Personal Jurisdiction on Out-of-State Entity Not Established by Presence of Subsidiary Company in Pennsylvania

Federal court personal jurisdiction issues were reviewed in the case of Esposito v. Las Vegas Sands Corp., No. 17 - CV - 2936 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 21, 2018 Surrick, J.).

In this Esposito decision, the court dismissed a non-resident Plaintiff’s slip and fall claims against a non-resident Defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction.  The Plaintiff allegedly fell at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The court found that the fact that the non-resident Defendant also operated a separately incorporated Pennsylvania subsidiary, which was the Sands Bethlehem Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, did not expose that Defendant to personal jurisdiction in Pennsylvania for out-of-state claims not involving any activity of that subsidiary. 

The court noted that, under Pennsylvania law, a parent corporation does not carry on “a continuous and systematic” business through separately incorporated subsidiaries. 

The court also found that the out-of-state Defendant was not subject to general jurisdiction because Pennsylvania was neither the state of that Defendant’s incorporation nor the location of that Defendant’s principal place of business.

The court ultimately ruled that this matter would be transferred to the place where the accident happened.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck of the Reed Smith law firm in Philadelphia for bringing this case to my attention.  

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