This blog, written by Thomas E. Rutledge, focuses primarily on business entity law in Kentucky. Postings on contract law, contractual and statutory construction, and the entity law of other jurisdictions appear as well. There may as well be some random discussions of classical, medieval and renaissance history.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
No Personal Jurisdiction Notwithstanding Qualification to Transact Business
In a recent
the Kentucky Court of Appeals,
it affirmed the trial court's determination that
a foreign insurer was and not subject to suit in Kentucky. Taylor v. Bristol West Insurance Company, No. 2014-CA-001648-MR, 2016 WL 675912 (Ky. App. February
Day Taylor, an Indiana resident, was insured by Bristol West Insurance Company. Taylor was ultimately involved in an auto accident in Jefferson County
Kentucky. The other motorist, who was at fault, settled with Taylor for that driver's $25,000
limit. Thereafter, Taylor filed suit in Jefferson County
Circuit Court against
seeking to recover additional
to the underinsured motorist
under her insurance policy
West. Bristol answered
the complaint, asserting that Kentucky lacked personal
Bristol West maintained
that it was a foreign corporation, Taylor was an Indiana resident, the policy of motor vehicle insurance was issued to Taylor in Indiana, and the insured vehicles
garaged in Indiana. Bristol West argued that Kentucky did not have personal jurisdiction
under its long-arm statute (Kentucky Revised Statutes
(KRS) 454.210(2)) and that the action must be dismissed. The only nexus to Kentucky between
the parties was that the accident occurred in Kentucky.
Taylor objected on a variety of grounds including the fact that Bristol West had been issued a certificate of authority to transact the insurance business
in Kentucky, that in consequence to holding a certificate of authority Bristol West had appointed the Secretary
of State as its
agent for service of process (seeKRS § 304.3-230(7)) and that Bristol West was also qualified to transact business
under the Kentucky Business
and the Kentucky Business
Act.She asserted that these contacts gave rise to
jurisdiction over Bristol West.
Ultimately the determination
of the trial court as to the absence of personal jurisdiction would
Reviewing the Kentucky Long Arm Statute and the decision of the Kentucky Supreme
Court rendered in
Riverboat Casino, LLC v. Beach, 336 S.W.3d 51 (Ky. 2011), it was found that the contacts with Kentucky
arising out of this fact pattern were
give rise to personal jurisdiction.In rejecting jurisdiction, the Court of
While the motor vehicle accident
occurred in Kentucky, all tort claims related
to the accident have been settled. This case looks exclusively to an insurance contract dispute
West and its insured, Taylor.
West might have qualified to issue insurance
in Kentucky, the contract of insurance here
at issue was entered into in Indiana. In consequence, KRS § 454.210(7)(a)7 was not applicable
to confer jurisdiction.
The court dismissed (“We review any remaining contentions
of error as moot or without merit.”) the suggestion
agent, of itself, would give rise to jurisdiction.