This case arises from the sale of a custom designed race car engine block. The Plaintiff, a Massachusetts resident, alleged the Defendant, a Texas Corporation, sold him a defective product and brought suit in Massachusetts. The Plaintiff had called the Texas-based Defendant about ordering the engine block and then later faxed an executed order form to the company. Sullivan & Associates, LLC filed a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction on behalf of the Defendant.
The Plaintiff argued the Defendant subjected itself to Massachusetts jurisdiction by not only completing the transaction with him, but also by maintaining a “highly interactive website,” which purposely directed activities at Massachusetts residents. However, Sullivan & Associates successfully argued: (1) the forum selection clause in the order form, stating the venue for disputes would be Texas, was not irrational; (2) the Defendant owned no property, maintained no offices, and did not advertise in Massachusetts; (3) the subject sale was an isolated transaction; and (4) the Defendant’s generally non-interactive website was not enough to establish jurisdiction. The court after consideration of all the issues dismissed the case in 2016.