Meyers v. Hamilton Corp

In Meyers v. Hamilton Corp., 143 Ariz. 249, 251-52, 693 P.2d 904, 906-07 (1984), the Arizona Supreme Court held that in determining personal jurisdiction, we should not look at the phrasing of the complaint in tort or contract, but the substance of the complaint. In Meyers, a company providing cruises sold tickets to Arizona residents through a travel agent in Arizona. The tickets were purchased in Arizona and all the necessary documents were then sent to the Arizona agent who delivered them to the plaintiffs in return for a commission. The plaintiffs sued the nonresident defendant for negligence or willful actions, alleging the defendant had not delivered their luggage to the ship. The defendant argued that the action sounded in tort and under the previous long-arm rule requiring that an effect occur in Arizona, 9 no tortious injury or event occurred in Arizona. The supreme court rejected that argument, holding that the complaint was founded on a contract regardless of whether the remedy sought was in tort because the essence of the claimed breach was a failure of consideration and the breach was coextensive with the reach of the underlying contract. Id. at 251-52, 693 P.2d at 906-07.