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Jackson v. Tanfoglio Giuseppe S.R.L.: No Jurisdiction Over Non-Manufacturer

 

On Monday, the Fifth Circuit released Jacskon v. Tanfoglio Giuseppe S.R.L. (pdf) affirming the district court’s dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction over the affiliate of a defunct Italian firearms manufacturer. Judge Garza wrote the court’s opinion.

It only took three appeals to finally result in the district court's dismissal of an affiliate that did not manufacture any part of the allegedly defective firearm. Along the way, the Court held:

  • There was no general jurisdiction based upon two unrelated trade show visits, untargeted national advertising and shipment of components (for other than the firearm in question) to Florida for assembly;
  • There was no specific jurisdiction based upon the stream of commerce theory principally because the defendant did not start manufacturing the model of firearm at issue until after the decedent’s accident; and
  • The jurisdictional contacts of the defunct affiliate that manufactured the firearm could not be attributed to the defendant because they were not alter egos or a single enterprise--the companies had maintained all the corporate formalities required by Italian law and had properly liquidated the failed manufacturer under Italian law.

Also of interest on Monday was Combo Maritime, Inc. v. U.S. United Bulk Terminal (pdf), which deals with settlement, contribution issues, and presumptions in maritime collision cases. It gets an honorable mention just for citing a really really old admiralty doctrine deriving from the Laws of Oleron in the 12th century. 

Evidentiary presumptions and 12th century law from the Consolato del Mare.* It just doesn’t get any better than this. 

*According to the History of Law website, The Consolato del Mare inspired the second great code of maritime regulation, the Laws of Oleron, which are supposed to have been compiled about A.D. 1150. It is generally understood that we owe them to a woman, Eleanor, Duchess of Guienne, Queen first of Louis VII of France, who procured a divorce from her, and afterwards of Henry II of England, the first of the Plantagenets.

Copyright © 2020, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume , Number 237

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About this Author

Kendall M. Gray, Antitrust Litigation Attorney, Andrews Kurth Law Firm
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Kendall is a board certified civil appellate specialist who has represented clients in state and federal appellate courts such as the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits, the Supreme Court of Texas and many intermediate courts of appeal. His practice includes a variety of complex commercial, medical malpractice and toxic tort matters, as well as a particular focus in disputes involving employee benefits, managed care and ERISA. The disputes commonly require complex written and oral advocacy on such topics as ERISA preemption,...

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