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Kekko v. K & B Louisiana Corp.

June 09, 1998

BESSIE M. KEKKO, APPELLANT
v.
K & B LOUISIANA CORPORATION, APPELLEE



Before Bridges, C.j., Herring, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/30/95 TRIAL JUDGE: HON. KOSTA N. VLAHOS COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION, APPELLEE'S MOTION TO DISMISS GRANTED

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 6/9/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. On September 19, 1988, Bessie M. Kekko, a resident of Mississippi, allegedly slipped and fell at a K & B drug store in Slidell, Louisiana. K & B Louisiana Corporation owns and operations K & B drug stores in Louisiana. K & B Louisiana Corporation is a Louisiana corporation and does not own or operate any K & B drug stores in Mississippi.

¶2. Mrs. Kekko filed suit in Harrison County Circuit Court on September 8, 1994. On June 30, 1995, the circuit court granted the appellee/defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and Mrs. Kekko filed her appeal and argues that the circuit court erred in holding that it did not have in personam jurisdiction over K & B Louisiana Corporation. Finding no error, we affirm.

¶3. To assert personal jurisdiction over K & B Louisiana Corporation, it must be amenable to suit under Mississippi's long arm statute, Miss. Code Ann. § 13-3-57 (Supp. 1997). This statute allows exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident corporation if it made a contract with a Mississippi resident to be performed in whole or in part in this state, committed a tort in whole or in part in this state against a resident or nonresident, or conducted any business or performed any character of work or service in Mississippi. It is undisputed that there was no contract involved and that no tort was committed in Mississippi. The only question is whether K & B Louisiana Corporation was "doing business" in Mississippi.

¶4. Prior to the amendment of the long arm statute in 1991, the test for determining whether a nonresident corporation is doing business in Mississippi was the nonresident corporation must purposefully do some act or consummate a transaction in Mississippi, the cause of action must arise from or be connected with the act or transaction in Mississippi, and the assumption of jurisdiction by Mississippi must not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial Justice. Gross v. Chevrolet County, Inc., 655 So. 2d 873, 877 (Miss. 1995); Rittenhouse v. Mabry, 832 F.2d 1380, 1384 (5th Cir. 1987)(citing Mladinich v. Kohn, 250 Miss. 138, 147, 164 So. 2d 785, 790 (1964)). Effective July 1, 1991, the legislature amended the statute and repealed the nexus test. "The amended statute applies prospectively to actions commenced after its effective date." Southern Pacific Transp. Co. v. Fox, 609 So. 2d 357, 360 n. 5 (Miss. 1992). Because this suit was filed in 1994, we apply the amended statute and look to whether K &B Louisiana Corporation (1) did some act or consummated a transaction in Mississippi and (2) whether the assumption of jurisdiction by this state would offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial Justice.

¶5. There was testimony from a corporate representative that K & B Louisiana Corporation paid for advertising placed by K & B Services, Incorporated, a separate corporation. There was no testimony that the advertising on New Orleans television stations or in the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper was specifically directed at Mississippi residents or designed to induce them to favor a K & B located in Louisiana over their local K & B drugstore.

ΒΆ6. The appellant argues that because K & B Louisiana Corporation advertised on Louisiana television stations which broadcasted into Mississippi that the nonresident corporation is amenable to suit in a Mississippi court. As the circuit court stated, "This Court would be stretched thin to infer a 'purposeful act or transaction' in ...


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