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The conferral of jurisdiction under N.Y. C.P.L.R. 302 rests on five elements: First, that defendant committed a tortious act outside the state; second, that the cause of action arises from that act; third, that the act caused injury to a person or property within the state; fourth, that defendant expected or should reasonably have expected the act to have consequences in the state; and fifth, that defendant derived substantial revenue from interstate or international commerce.
Plaintiff, a Town of Niagara employee, sued defendant Pak-Mor Manufacturing Company, a Texas corporation, alleging that he was injured when he fell from a sanitation truck equipped with a defective Pak-Mor loading device. Plaintiff alleged negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn and strict products liability. Pak-Mor moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court granted the motion and the Appellate Division affirmed. Plaintiff appealed.
Could the trial court exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant?
The court held that the exercise of long-arm jurisdiction over defendant was compatible with N.Y. C.P.L.R. 302 and due process. The court held that defendant knew the loader was destined for use in New York, and had reason to expect that any defects would have direct consequences in New York. The court held defendant's business was not "local", as defendant maintained a manufacturing facility in Virginia, and was therefore inherently engaged in interstate commerce. Defendant had a New York Distributor and a district representative. The court held that defendant forged the ties to New York. It took purposeful action, motivated by the desire to sell its products in New York. The court held asserting jurisdiction over defendant would not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.