Case Dismissed For Lack Of Personal Jurisdiction Over The Defendant
April 14th, 2017
Attorneys John Hughes and Lauren Kroeger, on behalf of their client, a builder, recently received a favorable decision in Porter Superior Court, with the Court dismissing the plaintiff’s lawsuit against our client. The court ruled that the lawsuit was improper because our client, a Texas builder, did not have sufficient contacts with the State of Indiana and therefore the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over the builder.
The court agreed that this case had nothing to do with Indiana, and had everything to do with Texas. The parties had a dispute about engineering work performed by the plaintiff engineering firm for a construction project in Texas. The engineering firm was required to have a Texas-licensed engineer sign and seal the drawings for the Texas construction project, which it did. And the engineering firm’s president traveled to the builder’s Texas facility to personally gather information about the builder’s shop and machine configuration and other information to assist Easy Building in its engineering work for the builder.
The Court, agreeing with our client, found that the builder was not “doing business” in Indiana and therefore did not come within Indiana’s long-arm statute for purposes of personal jurisdiction. Ind. Tr. R. 4.4(A)(1). The Court’s holding was based on record evidence presented by the builder which confirmed that it had no Indiana office, employees, agents, property or bank accounts. The builder did not advertise in Indiana, did not have any customers in Indiana and had not performed work in Indiana. No employee of the builder had a license issued by Indiana. No one from the builder visited Indiana in connection with negotiations or the engineering work performed by the plaintiff. Defendant builder had not conducted business in Indiana and had not requested or received any benefits from the State of Indiana.