One of the challenges of bringing a defective products lawsuit in New York is that one or more of the potential defendants may not be - at least at first glance - subject to New York's jurisdiction. The reason for this is rather straightforward - if a person or company doesn't have any real connection with New York, they don't (and shouldn't) have any real expectation of being sued there.The general rules under New York law regarding when jurisdiction can be extended beyond New York State's borders, also known as the "long-arm statute," is set forth in New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 302.

There is one exception to this rule, however, which is also contained in this statute:

Under CPLR 302 (a) (3) (ii), courts “may exercise personal jurisdiction over any non-domiciliary . . . who . . . commits a tortious act without the state causing injury to person . . . within the state . . . if he . . expects or should reasonably expect the act to have consequences in the state and derives substantial revenue from interstate or international commerce.”

"So how do you prove that?" you ask. Fortunately, New York's courts have provided some guidance on the issue:

"The conferral of jurisdiction under [that] provision rests on five elements: First, that defendant committed a tortious act outside the State; second, that the cause of action arises from that act; third, that the act caused injury to a person or
property within the State; fourth, that defendant expected or should reasonably have expected the act to have consequences in the State; and fifth, that defendant derived substantial revenue from interstate or international commerce” (LaMarca v Pak-Mor Mfg. Co., 95 NY2d 210, 214).

Jonathan Cooper
Connect with me
Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer