LG Chem. Ltd. v. Superior Court (2022) 80 Cal.App.5th 348. This is a jurisdiction case and should be contrasted with the case which follows, Daimler Trucks North America LLC v. Superior Court.
In the LG Chem. case, a manufacturer not located in the State of California sought to quash service of summons for lack of personal jurisdiction. The manufacturer did business in the State of California by selling batteries in the state, but the claims in the case were made by a consumer and did not arise out of or relate to the manufacturer’s sale for use solely in industrial component products, not to individual consumers. The claim by the plaintiff, therefore, had no connection with the use of the forum by the defendant and the court determined that the connection between the business done and the injury which occurred was lacking, and jurisdiction was, therefore, not present.
Daimler Trucks North American LLC v. Superior Court (2022) 80 Cal.App.5th 946 involved a Delaware corporation sued in California for an accident that occurred in Oklahoma. The defendant did not manufacture or assemble vehicles in California, but it did conduct considerable business in the State. The court held that jurisdiction was present, finding that the defendant’s activities which supported the sale and service of the truck in California demonstrated that the plaintiff’s claims related to California activities. The defendant advertised, sold and serviced the truck in California and jurisdiction was consistent with fair play and substantial justice.
Sanchez v. Bezos (2022) 80 Cal.App.750. This is a SLAPP action. The court granted the SLAPP motion because it found that in the alleged defamation action by plaintiff, plaintiff was unable to demonstrate that out-of-court statements which were the source of the defamatory comments were admissible in opposition to the SLAPP motion. These statements could have been admissible if made at trial, but the plaintiff’s declaration recounting them could not be shown to demonstrate a reasonable possibility that admissible evidence existed because the plaintiff’s declaration was hearsay.
Joshi v. Fitness International, LLC (2022) 80 Cal.App.5th 814. In this case a member of an exercise facility made a claim for personal injury based upon the owner’s alleged failure to maintain the sauna in a safe condition. The owner was granted summary judgment on the basis of a release of liability signed in connection with the membership agreement, and plaintiff could also not establish claims for gross negligence or premises liability. The court indicated that the release was sufficient as to the negligence claim. As to gross negligence, the owner presented evidence sufficient to show it was conducting business in accordance with the standard of conduct, because there was no showing there, or on the premises liability theory, that the owner had knowledge that there was a lightbulb that had burned out in the sauna at the time that the injury occurred, or at any time shortly before that.
Gregory L. McCoy