Joshua D. Yeager and Tara C. O'Mahoney Secure Dismissal of German Manufacturer of Material Handling Machines in Personal Injury Lawsuit in Federal Court in Florida

Tara C. O'Mahoney

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently granted the motion to quash service of process and to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction filed by Joshua D. Yeager and Tara C. O’Mahoney on behalf of the firm’s client, a German manufacturer of material handling machines. The plaintiff insurance carrier alleged that its insured’s employee was injured when he fell from the material handling machine at a facility in Florida.  It further alleged that the material handling machine was unsafe and defective because of the absence of handrails, guardrails, foot barriers, and non-skid platforms on top of the machine.  Josh and Tara presented evidence that the German manufacturer did not conduct business in Florida and had no jurisdictional contacts there.  The Court agreed that service on a U.S. based subsidiary was not sufficient service of process on the German manufacturer.  The Court further agreed that the German manufacturer had insufficient contacts with Florida and refused to exercise personal jurisdiction simply because its product was brought into the state by a third party.