RAJNIKANT PATEL, ET AL. VS. KARNAVATI AMERICA, LLC,
In this products liability matter, we examined whether New Jersey could exercise specific jurisdiction over defendant Karnavati Engineering, Ltd., the manufacturer of a machine, whose alleged defective design caused plaintiff's injury. Karnavati is a corporation located in India, and had insufficient contacts to result in general jurisdiction. Karnavati was shown to have made a single sale of the subject machine to defendant GlobePharma, Inc. in India, using a purchase order that identified the machine was to be sold onto Neil Labs, plaintiff's New Jersey employer. The purchase order specified Neil Labs retained the right to inspect and test the
machine prior to Globe's acceptance, and modifications suggested by Neil Labs were "of essence" for its acceptance. No evidence of any inspection or modification was produced.
Finding these facts distinguishable, we concluded the holding in J. McIntyre Machinery, Limited v. Nicastro, __ U.S. __, 131 S. Ct. 2780, 180 L. Ed. 2d 765 (2011), addressing specific jurisdiction based upon the "stream of commerce" theory, was inapposite. We also did not find the repeated contacts found essential to the exercise of specific jurisdiction in Cruz v. Robinson Engineering Corporation, 253 N.J. Super. 66 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 130 N.J. 9 (1992). Other than pointing to the general language in the purchase order, Globe and plaintiff failed to identify specific actions by Karnavati which demonstrate its desire to conduct business in New Jersey.
Applying traditional jurisdictional jurisprudence, we conclude the facts do not support Karnavati purposefully availed itself of "'the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws.'" Nicastro Nicastro, supra, __ U.S. at __, 131 S. Ct. at 2787, 180 L. Ed. 2d at 774 (plurality op.) (quoting Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253, 78 S. Ct. 1228, 1240, 2 L. Ed. 2d 1283, 1298 (1958)). The totality of the contacts did not satisfy due process such that New Jersey's exercise of jurisdiction over the nonresident manufacturer would "not offend 'traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'" Ibid. (quoting Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S. Ct. 154, 158, 90 L. Ed. 95, 102 (1945)).