I received an email about personal jurisdiction over out-of-state insurance companies where the plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident.¹
As a general rule, if the court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant driver in an automobile accident and the insurance company insured the defendant driver, personal jurisdiction over the insurance company is usually not a problem
The idea is that the insurance company is tied to the defendant. So if the defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction the court can assert personal jurisdiction over the defendant’s insurance company even if the insurance company does not have any business with the forum state.
More complicated questions arise where a plaintiff sues an insurance company for failing to provide coverage following an incident, such as a fire. In those cases, a court is not going to be able to assert personal jurisdiction simply because the insurance company is tied to a defendant. The court will likely follow a traditional analysis to determine whether there is personal jurisdiction: did the insurance company have sufficient contacts with the forum state and is the lawsuit related to those contacts?
¹ Actually she asked about venue but I think she meant personal jurisdiction. If I’m wrong, please let me know.
Thank you Daniel for the extremely quick response!
I think your answer sums up the majority of my question. I was thinking in a hypothetical situation where as:
P is in a car with T and traveling in CO. P and T get’s into a car accident when the car, driven,, and owned by T rear ended a semi-truck trailer. T’s insurance company, D, is a regional insurance company only serving in 3 states on the east coast. P contended that she was entitled to unlimited coverage, however D contended that its liability was limited.
P then sues D in CA State Court (she is domiciled there), but D is incorporated in DE and principle place of business in VA.
If CA does not have personal jurisdiction over D, where would venue be proper in the federal court outside of CA? Would it be in D’s domicile and ppb state, DE and VA? Even though the accident happened in CO, D was never actually present there, so would CO not be an option?
I think I’m getting into the more complicated scenario and yes, indeed, I’m a law student!
OK so it is a little more complicated.
1. I have some info on venue here:
2. Also, would you like a free civ pro quiz book? I can send you a promo code for my ebook on iBooks:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/civ-pro-essentials/id1117499605?mt=11
3. Finally, I’m thinking that if D is a business entity DE and VA look good. CO is tricky. Normally where the underlying events occur or property is located is also good for venue but hmmmm… our insurance company was not really involved in the accident, at issue here is the policy. So without doing research I’d be stuck and would show that I know the venue rules, make all possible arguments why CO would be appropriate because the underlying accident occurred there and then make all possible arguments why CO would not be an option because the key events or property has nothing to do with the actual accident. There is almost certainly a better answer but that’s the best I can do off the top of my head.
Hello. I was just reviewing these posts and if possible, I would like a free civ pro quiz book. Can you send me a promo code for your ebook on iBooks:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/civ-pro-essentials/id1117499605?mt=11 please? I would greatly appreciate it. I would apologize for asking for the free gift, but I’m not sorry! I want to pass the bar and I value your approach thus far. Thank you so much!
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Sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to respond to you comment, yes I would also really appreciate the chance to get your promo code for the civ pro ebook please!
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