BUS LAW 201
April, 19, 2015
Swoboda v. Hero deck
Ron Swoboda, a former member of the New York Mets baseball team, filed a lawsuit in the State of Louisiana over an internet merchandiser named Parody Productions, LLC selling novelty cards featuring famous baseball players including the plaintiff. This lawsuit is followed initial request of Swoboda to cease the sales which the merchandiser rejected. The trial court made a verdict in favor of the defendant, stating that the court does not have the personal jurisdiction over the defendant to sustain the case itself for trial, which resulted in this appeal in question.
Local or regional court has the jurisdiction over a commercial entity like an internet merchandiser making sales not just in a confined area (such as the State of Louisiana in this particular case) That is, the issue was for personal jurisdiction, whether the defendant had sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Louisiana.
The Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, affirms the trial court's decision that it has no personal jurisdiction over the defendant to sustain a case for the plaintiff.
The court concluded that the defendant lacked plentiful minimum contacts with Louisiana. The dissenting court opinion argued that the not enough fact that the plaintiff operated a website for sales purposes and actively transported the merchandises via USPS as a carrier to consumers in Louisiana is sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction over the plaintiff for the court. However, the court eventually ruled that the only evidence of contact with Louisiana were unilateral activity of consumers with the website. The court stated there was no other record of any contact made with the plaintiff's website. Consequently, the court lacked personal jurisdiction and maintained the trial court's law.
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