Personal Jurisdiction on Defamatory Phone Calls by a Non-Resident In Florida

In Acquadro v. Bergeron, 851 So. 2d 665, 670 (Fla. 2003), the Court held that "allegedly defamatory phone calls made into Florida by a nonresident could be sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction" on the basis of Wendt. In Acquadro, a defamation claim was brought against the nonresident defendant based upon a telephone call from Massachusetts to the plaintiff, the plaintiff's sister, and another third party in Florida in which the defendant stated that the plaintiff "had AIDS." Id. at 668. The Court noted in a footnote that although the record was not completely clear, it appeared that the telephone call was a conference call in which the third party called the defendant in Massachusetts, and they proceeded to call the defendant in Florida. Id. at 668 n.7. Justice Wells, in his dissent, stated, "It does not appear that the defendant initiated the call into Florida." Id. at 677.