A Massachusetts Superior Court judge (Fahey, J.) recently denied an attempt by the French-based ski manufacturer, Salomon SA, to dismiss a claim brought by a Massachusetts resident for injuries suffered by him when the ski binding failed while skiing in Utah. Salomon SA argued that because they had no ties or presence in Massachusetts, they should not be compelled to defend an action brought in Massachusetts. Susan Bourque, of Parker | Scheer LLP, argued on behalf of plaintiff that the claim against Salomon SA should be allowed to proceed in Massachusetts because Salomon SA maintained a website that directed consumers to authorized retail locations in Massachusetts where consumers could purchase Salomon goods.
In siding with the plaintiff, Judge Fahey ruled that because Salomon directed consumers to Massachusetts retail locations, they (Salomon) were transacting business in the Commonwealth within the meaning of the Massachusetts Long Arm Statute. The issue: Could a website alone confer jurisdiction upon an out-of-state corporation - was the first of its kind decided in Massachusetts. This decision follows the expanding trend of evaluating the "interactivity" of a company's website in determining whether or not the corporation was targeting consumers within a particular state.
Click here to read more about this case from an article that appeared in Mass Lawyer's Weekly.