Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Federal Middle District Court Addresses Jurisdiction Over Accident That Occurred in Virginia

In the case of Grady v. Rothwell, No. 4:22-CV0-00428 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 8, 2022 Brann, J.), the court addressed issues of personal jurisdiction in a trucking accident case.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff’s decedent was killed in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Virginia.

The Defendant tractor trailer driver was not a resident of Pennsylvania, nor was La-Z-Boy Logistics, which was the company for which the driver was driving.

Judge Brann found that the court lacked personal jurisdiction as there was no evidence or allegation that the corporate Defendant was “at home” in Pennsylvania. Personal jurisdiction was also not found due to the fact that the subject motor vehicle accident occurred outside of Pennsylvania.

Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann 
M.D. Pa.

Judge Brann ruled that the fact that La-Z-Boy did business nationwide, including Pennsylvania, was insufficient, in and of itself, to confer general personal jurisdiction over that party, as there was no allegation that the company had any locations or employees in Pennsylvania.

The court additionally found that there was no basis to assert specific personal jurisdiction as the underlying motor vehicle accident occurred in the State of Virginia.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Dec. 1, 2022).

Source of top image:  photo by Josiah Farrow from www.pexels.com.

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