South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Television Program Seen Across State Lines Did Not Create Jurisdiction
Description A Missouri resident, responding to a television interview with a doctor in Kansas, went to Kansas for treatment from the doctor that resulted in a malpractice suit. Missouri appeals court held that Missouri courts did not have personal jurisdiction over the doctor since he did not provide service in Missouri.
Topic Court Procedure
Key Words Long-Arm Jurisdiction; Contacts; Service; Torts
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Sifers is a physician in Kansas and is not licensed to practice medicine in Missouri. Hollinger, a Missouri resident, saw a television interview with Sifers and contacted his office in Kansas about a surgical procedure, which Sifers performed on Hollinger in Kansas. The surgery resulted in significant complications and Hollinger sued Sifers in Missouri state court for malpractice and other torts. Service of process was obtained in Kansas under the Missouri long-arm statute. The trial court dismissed the suit for lack of personal jurisdiction. Hollinger appealed.
Decision

Affirmed. “For a non-resident defendant to be subject to the long-arm jurisdiction of this state, two elements must be present: First, the suit must arise out of one of the activities enumerated in Missouri’s long-arm statute; and second, the defendant must have sufficient minimum contacts with Missouri to satisfy due process requirements.” The torts alleged here did not occur in Missouri, as the surgery took place in Kansas. When a non-resident defendant is engaged in providing a service, as opposed to providing a product in commerce, contact requirements for long-arm jurisdiction are more stringent. Sifers did not advertise his service in Missouri, he was only the subject of an interview on television that was seen by Hollinger; that did not create sufficient contacts with Missouri to create jurisdiction.

Citation Hollinger v. Sifers, --- S.W.2d --- (2003 WL 22997218, Ct. App., Mo., 2003)

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