Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Court Finds No Personal Jurisidiction Over Cruise Line Where Plaintiff's Injury Did Not Occur In Pennsylvania

In the case Knox v. Seven Seas Cruises, No. 525, August Term 2020 (C.P. Phila. Co. Aug. 21, 2021 New, J.), the trial court issued a Rule 1925 Opinion requesting the Superior Court to confirm the trial court’s decision to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.

According to the Opinion, the lawsuit between the Plaintiff and the cruise line grew out of a dispute over the Plaintiff’s request for a cash refund. 

The Plaintiffs filed suit in Philadelphia County on the claims presented and asserted that the Pennsylvania trial court had specific jurisdiction because the financial harm that the Plaintiff allegedly suffered related to the cruise line’s contacts in Pennsylvania, specifically, the company’s solicitation of the Plaintiffs’ business.

The cruise line filed Preliminary Objections raising the issue of personal jurisdiction.

The court ruled that, while the Defendant solicited business from Pennsylvania, including the Plaintiffs’ business, the court lacked specific personal jurisdiction over this foreign corporation because the allegedly injury-causing incident involving the Defendant did not occur in this State of Pennsylvania. The court otherwise found that the combination of the Plaintiffs’ Pennsylvania residency and the Defendant’s solicitation of business in Pennsylvania was not sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over the Defendant.

As such, the trial court requested that the Superior Court affirm its decision on appeal.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Dec. 21, 2021).

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