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Virginia has held that its long arm statute, Va. Code Ann. § 8-81.2, exercises the full extent of jurisdictional power permitted by the due process clause. If the exercise of jurisdiction is constitutional, the long arm statute contemplates it.
Defendant manufacturer, a Washington corporation, sold window frames to a Colorado distributor, which in turn sold to the plaintiff purchaser, a Virginia corporation. The frames, however, were shipped directly from the manufacturer to the purchaser. When the purchaser brought an action against the manufacturer because the frames were defective, the district court decided it did not have personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff purchaser appealed.
Could the district court exercise jurisdiction over the defendant manufacturer?
The court held that under Va. Code Ann. § 8-81.2(a)(1), the manufacturer could not be said to have transacted any business in Virginia because its sole contact was the shipment of frames. Under Va. Code Ann. § 8-81.2(a)(5), however, the district court had jurisdiction over the manufacturer because the money paid for the frames, which were used in Virginia, constituted substantial revenue. The assertion of jurisdiction did not offend the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The manufacturer enjoyed a sufficient financial benefit from the use of its frames so that it would not be unreasonable to hold it accountable in Virginia for alleged defects. The manufacturer also had a reasonable expectation that the frames would be used the state.