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Law School Case Brief

Buckeye Boiler Co. v. Superior Court of L.A. Cty. - 71 Cal. 2d 893, 80 Cal. Rptr. 113, 458 P.2d 57 (1969)

Rule:

A manufacturer engages in economic activity within a state as a matter of "commercial actuality," so as to entitle the manufacturer to the benefits and protection of a state's laws and so as to make the manufacturer, in at least some situations, amenable to that state's jurisdiction, where the purchase or use of the manufacturer's products within the state generates gross income for the manufacturer and is not so fortuitous or unforeseeable as to negative the existence of an intent on the part of the manufacturer to bring about this result.

Facts:

Plaintiff Flynt filed an action for personal injuries against Petitioner Buckeye after being injured by the explosion of its pressure tank. Petitioner sought a writ of mandamus alleging that it is a foreign corporation doing business in California.

Issue:

Can the corporation compel the court to quash the service of summons against it on the ground that it is a foreign corporation doing business in California?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The Court held that the plaintiff has made a sufficient prima facie showing that his injury arose from or is connected with purposeful activity in California -- direct and indirect sales of pressure tanks -- which produces economic benefit for Petitioner as a matter of "commercial actuality." A balancing of inconvenience to the defendant against the interests of the state and the plaintiff in having the present litigation in California strongly favors the local jurisdiction.

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