Did Actions Cause More Harm to Plaintiff In Florida Than Enywhere Else Plantiff Being a Non-Florida Resident ?
In Alternate Energy Corp. v. Redstone, 328 F. Supp. 2d 1379 (S.D. Fla. 2004), the plaintiff, a non-Florida resident, brought suit, alleging claims for libel, slander, defamation, and violations of state law, arising out of information published on the nonresident defendant's website. Id. at 1381.
The defendant published an independent Internet website that monitored the hydrogen fuel cell industry. Id. Part of the defendant's website was open to the public, but the remainder was available to subscribers only; the defendant did not sell merchandise through his website, which offered only information. Id.
According to the complaint, the defendant harmed the plaintiff by publishing negative information on the restricted portion of the defendant's website. Id.
The defendant sold a small number of the subscriptions to the restricted portion of the website to Florida residents. Id. at 1383.
The court held that long-arm jurisdiction under 48.193(1)(b) was not proper, finding that "selling subscriptions to an internet site to an unknown, relatively small number of Florida residents, without more, does not . . . constitute the commission of a tortious act in Florida under 48.193(1)(b)." Alternate Energy Corp., 328 F. Supp. 2d at 1383.
The court distinguished the case from Becker and Wendt because they involved instances where Florida courts found that personal jurisdiction existed under 48.193(1)(b).
However, the fact that the plaintiffs in both Becker and Wendt were Florida residents and the defendants had specifically targeted their actions toward the state of Florida factored prominently into the respective courts' determinations that the out-of-state defendants had allegedly committed tortious acts in Florida.
Conversely, in the instant case, Plaintiff is an out-of-state resident, and there is no indication that Defendant's actions caused more harm to Plaintiff in Florida than anywhere else. Id. at 1384.