Personal Jurisdiction Cannot Be Established by Sporadic, But Long-Term Business Activities

The World in U.S. Courts: Summer 2013 - Personal Jurisdiction | April.26.2013

In re British Am. Ins. Co. Ltd. (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, S.D. Fla., April 26, 2013)

The British American Insurance Company Limited (“BAICO”) filed suit against one of its former directors after entering into bankruptcy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. BAICO alleged a breach of fiduciary duty involving a bad real estate transaction and alleged that the director could be sued in the U.S. because, over the previous seven years, he served as director or officer of eight Florida businesses, conducted business meetings in Florida, directed business activities in Florida through correspondence, and provided financial assistance to his children living in the United States. But the court found the contacts to be “sporadic” overall, and thus not satisfying the “systematic and continuous” requirement for general jurisdiction. As to “specific” jurisdiction, the court found the allegations were not sufficiently connected to the director’s U.S. activities and the injuries they allegedly caused because his relevant U.S. contacts began after the close of the real estate transaction.

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