Designer Skin LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., et al.
Northwest Healthcare Alliance Inc. v. Healthgrades.com, Inc.,
No. 01-35648 (9th Cir., October 7, 2002).
Applying the ‘effects test,’ the Ninth Circuit holds that Washington courts can exercise personal jurisdiction over defendant Healthgrades.com, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Colorado, in a defamation action arising out of allegedly defamatory statements found on defendant’s website that caused injury to plaintiff in Washington. The statements at issue consisted of ratings of home health care providers, including plaintiff, which provides such services in Washington.
Under the ‘effects test’ endorsed by the Supreme Court in Calder v. Jones, 456 U.S. 783 (1984), the Ninth Circuit held that personal jurisdiction can be exercised over an out of state defendant if it “(1) engaged in intentional actions; (2) expressly aimed at the forum state; (3) causing harm, the brunt of which is suffered – and which defendant knows is likely to be suffered – in the forum state.”
Application of the effects test to the case at bar mandated denial of defendant’s motion to dismiss for want of personal jurisdiction. Said the Court: