Malatesta Earns Dismissal in Case Lacking Personal Jurisdiction

Arkansas’ Circuit Court of Lee County entered an order Oct. 21, 2019 dismissing with prejudice personal injury claims made against a HAT client due to lack of personal jurisdiction.

HAT shareholder Jacob Malatesta, relying on a recent case from the Arkansas Supreme Court as well as a recent clarification of due process analysis, successfully argued that although the defendant was within close proximity to Arkansas (but beyond state lines), and despite its contacts with the state, the defendant could not be held subject to personal jurisdiction in that location. 

Malatesta argued that the connections the defendant had with Arkansas must relate to the case on hand. Since there was no dispute that the subject case involved a simple fall on the premises, which was located in Mississippi, the defendant’s Arkansas contacts did not matter. There was no personal jurisdiction. 

The court agreed and granted the dismissal. There has been no appeal, and, to date, the case has not been refiled in Mississippi.