Personal Jurisdiction: Walden trumps Calder

Sangha, the “master in command” of a merchant vessel, sued Navi8 Shipmanagement, his former employer, in Texas. To support personal jurisdiction, he cited a number of communications with him in Texas. Citing Walden v. Fiore, 134 S. Ct. 1115 (2014), the Fifth Circuit found those contacts inadequate: “Even though Navig8’s email communications happened to affect Cpt. Sangha while he was at the Port of Houston, this single effect is not enough to confer specific jurisdiction over Navig8.” And the Court found that “Cpt. Sangha’s reliance on the ‘effects’ test of Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984), is unavailing” — “The proper question is not whether Cpt. Sangha experienced an innjury of effect in a particular location, but whether Navig8’s conduct connects it to the forum in a meaningful way.” Sangha v. Navig8 Shipmanagement, No. 17-20093 (Feb. 5, 2018).

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