Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bryant v. Finnish Naional Airline case brief

Bryant v. Finnish Nat'l Airline
15 N.Y.2d 426

PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Plaintiff airline passenger sought review of the decision from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department (New York), which reversed the decision from the trial court and granted defendant foreign airline company's motion to dismiss the passenger's personal injury action for lack of jurisdiction.

FACTS: The passenger was injured at an airport in Paris when a blast of air produced by the foreign airline company's aircraft caused a baggage cart to strike the passenger. The passenger brought an action in New York. The foreign airline company brought a motion to dismiss the complaint under N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3211(a)(8) for lack of personal jurisdiction.

The appellate court reversed the decision by which the trial court denied the foreign airline company's motion on the ground that the foreign airline corporation was not "doing business" in the State of New York and thus was not subject to personal jurisdiction in New York.

On further review, the court reinstated the trial court's decision, finding that the airline was "doing business" in the State of New York. Although the foreign airline company did not directly sell tickets in New York, the foreign airline company maintained an office, advertised, employed several people, had a bank account, and facilitated the ticket business of the foreign airline company in the State of New York.

A foreign corporation in order to be subject to jurisdiction must transact, with a fair measure of continuity and regularity, a reasonable amount of its business within the State of New York.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed the judgment from the appellate court and reinstated the decision from the trial court, which had denied the foreign airline company's motion to dismiss the passenger's negligence action.
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