Here’s an excellent and creative practice essay question written by 2014-15 Section 2 Civ Pro ALI Brittnay Wittnebel, and used for the ALI session of Oct. 16. The business and product names used here are fictional and created for educational purposes, and none are intended to suggest anything about any real-world entities or products.
Active Learning Session #5—Thursday, October 16, 2014
Civil Procedure I—Section 2—Professor Nathenson
ALI: Brittnay Wittnebel
Bill Buyer, a resident of Florida, does not go anywhere without his yPhone. yPhone is manufactured by Telephono, a cell phone manufacturer incorporated in California with its principal place of business also in California. On August 1, Bill Buyer was surfing the Internet and saw this advertisement on Telephono’s website (www.telephono.com):
After reading the advertisement, Bill Buyer immediately ordered the new yPhone 6. On September 1, the release date, Bill looked out his front window and watched the mailman put a small package in the mailbox. Bill ran to his mailbox and opened the package to unveil a glistening, new yPhone 6. The phone worked flawlessly for the next few weeks.
On November 1, Bill was at home playing his favorite game, Cabbage Crush, on his yPhone when the device rapidly heated up and burned Bill’s hands. Bill went to the hospital to tend to his serious burns. In the emergency room, Bill sat down to wait for the doctor and noticed that the nightly news was on the television. The news anchor said, “One month ago, thousands of Telephono fanatics waited in line for hours to receive the new yPhone 6, and the wait was worth it. Yesterday, Telephono released a national statement recalling all pre-ordered yPhone 6 phones because many of them were found to contain faulty batteries. These defective batteries have caused many yPhones to melt from the inside out, or worse, cause burns to the user. yPhone has recalled all pre-ordered yPhones.”
Best Batteries sells cell phone batteries to Telephono and five other major cellphone manufacturers in the United States. Best Batteries, Inc. is a company incorporated in New York and its principal place of business also New York. Every year, Best Batteries makes and ships 10 million cellphone batteries to its six major customers. For the new yPhone release, Best Batteries sent 1 million batteries, valued at $20 each, to Telephono. The batteries were manufactured in New York and shipped to California to be installed in the new yPhone. Best Batteries does not advertise anywhere outside of New York.
Bill sued Telephono and Best Batteries in the federal court for products liability and negligence to recover for his medical expenses and lost wages. The suit is filed in a brand new state of South Florida, the 51st state of the United States. Telephono has no objection to personal jurisdiction in South Florida. Best Batteries makes a timely pre-answer motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Should the court grant or deny Best Batteries’ motion? The State of South Florida’s long-arm statute extends to the full extent of Due Process.
Revised Sept. 29, 2016 (changing state to “South Florida” and adding info on long-arm statute)