When a car accident happens, most of the finger pointing that follows goes on between the drivers of the vehicles involved (and their insurance companies). There is a wide variety of third parties, however, who may also be responsible for a crash. In Marina Dodge v. Quinn, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeals explains that injured persons who go after one or more of those third parties better be sure they're doing so in the right state.
Ms. Quinn purchased her car in New York from two local companies, Marina Dodge and Webster Auto Brokers. She was living in Florida when she was later involved in a 2007 vehicle collision in the Sunshine State. Quinn sued the companies in Florida, alleging that the car was defective and that this defect led to the accident. A trial court denied the companies' motion to dismiss the complaint, in which they argued that the court didn't have personal jurisdiction over them.
Reversing the decision on appeal, however, the Fourth District held that neither company had sufficient contacts with the State of Florida to justify the trial court exercising jurisdiction over them. As the Court explained, "personal jurisdiction can exist in two forms: 'specific,' in which the alleged activities or actions of the defendant are directly connected to the forum state, and 'general,' in which the defendant's connection with the forum state is so substantial that no specific or enumerated relationship between the alleged wrongful actions and the state is necessary."