Friday, December 27, 2013

DeJames v. Magnificence Carriers case brief

DeJames v. Magnificence Carriers case brief summary
491 F.Supp. 1276 (1980)

Defendant shipbuilder filed a motion in the court to dismiss a complaint against it that was filed by plaintiff worker, who was injured while working aboard a vessel at a pier in New Jersey.

The shipbuilder entered into a contract in Japan with defendant charterers of a vessel, and agreed to have the vessel converted into an automobile carrier. The worker was injured while performing some of that conversion work at a pier in New Jersey, and brought an action for damages. The shipbuilder filed a motion to dismiss, alleging insufficiency of service and lack of personam jurisdiction, contending it did not maintain the requisite contacts with the state to enable the court to render personal judgment against it.


  • The court granted the motion, holding that the degree and nature of the shipbuilder's contacts with the state did not satisfy either the minimum contacts standard or the substantial connection test. 
  • The shipbuilder did no business in the state, did not maintain an office there, and did not employ any marketing or distribution scheme to have its products sold there. 
  • The court held that, while it was true that very minimal contacts were required to satisfy due process, there was still a requirement for some act by which the shipbuilder purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the state, and there was no such act.

The court granted the shipbuilder's motion to dismiss a case brought against it by a worker who was injured while performing conversion work on its vessel.

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