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Web Site Insufficient to Give Courts Jurisdiction in Tort Action
Description The Montana high court held that Montana courts did not have jurisdiction over a Canadian maker of a motor home that was involved in a fatal accident in Montana. Those passengers in the motor home were not residents of Montana. The fact that the motor home maker maintained a web site that could be viewed in Montana was not sufficient to give the courts jurisdiction.
Topic Cyberlaw
Key Words Jurisdiction; Web Site
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Four persons, citizens of the Philippines or of Canada, were killed in a traffic accident in Montana that involved the motor home in which they were riding. Their survivors filed a tort suit in a Montana court against the Canadian maker of the motor home. The trial court dismissed the suit, holding that it did not have jurisdiction over the motor home maker. Plaintiffs appealed.
Decision Affirmed. For Montana courts to have jurisdiction, the defendant's activities in the state must be substantial, systematic and continuous. The mere maintenance of an Internet web site by the Canadian motor home maker did not subject it to the general jurisdiction of the Montana courts given that no Montana residents were involved in the matter, and that there was no connection between the accident and the maker's Internet activities. The fact that the maker could expect some of its motor homes to be used in Montana, and even to be owned by Montana residents, was not sufficient contact to give Montana courts jurisdiction in this matter
Citation Bedrejo v. Triple E Canada, Ltd., - P.2d - (1999 WL 672217, Sup. Ct., Mont.)

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