Thursday, October 11, 2018

Motion to Dismiss Overseas Company Granted on Jurisdictional Grounds


In the case of Pearce v. Mizuho Bank Ltd., No. 18-306 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 27, 2018 Kelly, J.), the court granted a Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

In so ruling, the court stated that an overseas company cannot be “at home” in Pennsylvania sufficient to support allegations of general personal jurisdiction over that Defendant.  

The court additionally held that the fact that a subsidiary of the company had a branch office in Pennsylvania is not sufficient to impose jurisdiction.   The court noted that, in this case, the subsidiaries activities were not in any way related to the allegations raised in the lawsuit.  

The court also stated that the record that did not show that the overseas Defendant had engaged in any Pennsylvania-specific activities.  With this particular Defendant, its treatment of its customers did not depend upon their location.  

The court also reaffirmed the rule that an alleged failure to act does not constitute an activity in any jurisdiction.  

The court also noted that the Plaintiff in this matter had no direct transactions with the proposed Defendant.

Nor were there any Pennsylvania-centered activities by the Defendant against which to apply the “arise from”/”relate to” test.  

The court also stated that there was no evidence that the Defendant had any knowledge of the Plaintiff being located in Pennsylvania.

As such, the Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction was granted.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The Court's Order can be viewed HERE

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck, of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm and the writer of the excellent Drug and Device Law blog for bringing this case to my attention.

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