Tom Pender and Bill Cremer Secure Dismissal of Canadian Manufacturer of Shower Valves in Flood Damage Lawsuit


The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire recently granted the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction that Tom Pender and Bill Cremer filed on behalf of the firm’s client, a Canadian manufacturer of shower valves for high-end plumbing fixtures. The lawsuit alleged that the shower valve failed in the home of the plaintiff’s insured and caused extensive flood damage.  Tom and Bill presented evidence that the manufacturer did most of its business in California and a few other states, but not New Hampshire.  In response to the motion, the plaintiff insurance carrier opposed the jurisdictional argument and, as a fallback position, asked the Court to transfer the case to California, where the Canadian company had greater jurisdictional contacts.  The District Court held that the Canadian company lacked jurisdictional contacts with the State of New Hampshire and was not subject to jurisdiction there simply because its products found their way into the state via the “stream of commerce.”  The Court went a step further and also determined that California courts could not properly exercise jurisdiction over the company either because the New Hampshire flood event did not arise out of the manufacturer’s contacts with the State of California.  The plaintiff carrier elected not to challenge or appeal the ruling.