Doe v. Thompson Case Brief

Summary of Doe v. Thompson, 620 So. 2d 1004 (1993)

Cause of action: The following is a cause of action for personal jurisdiction in FL so as to bring a cause of action for gross negligence.

Procedural History: N/A.

Facts: Doe was sexually assaulted while working alone on 3/17/87. She alleges the store was made unsafe so as to prevent this matter.

Issue(s): Under FL rules of Civil Procedure, does the alleged negligent store design of a counter which results in an alleged sexual assault bring rise to personal jurisdiction in a FL court when the president of the company is not a resident and does nto maintain minimum contacts within the state of FL?

Court’s Rationale/Reasoning: The linchpin here is the personal act which is part of the suit. PL here alleged the president of the company should be held responsible for the acts of the company. Previous case law says to the contrary. BOP on PL to show this jurisdiction applies through the FL long arm statute. The court defined the word “personally.” which means in person; without the intervention of another.” This means the DF here must have an in-person stake in the event which brought forth the cause of action.

In this case, the store may be held accountable, but the president maintains no minimum contacts. Even the president’s affadavit statement, “the buck stops here,” is not sufficient standing alone to refute the affadavit. Doe alleges Thompson was acting under the scope of his employment when the alleged event occurred, but the court said it would be unfair to bring a company official under direct and total responsibility for the negligence of a company.

Rule: (1) Are there enough facts to bring this case under the long arm of the statute

(2) Is there personal jurisdiction via minimum contacts rule applied in World Wide Volkswagon and previously in Int’l Shoe.

Holding: No. Although there are enough facts to bring this case under the long arm of the statute, the cause of action via the minimum contacts rule does not apply to the president of the company, but to the company itself.

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