Jurisdiction In Contract With a Citizens of Another State Cases

In Ball v. Bigham, 990 S.W.2d 343 (Tex.App.--Amarillo 1999, no pet.) the out-of-state defendant, Bigham, personally made a contract with a Texas resident which included Bigham's personal delivery of an irrigation engine to Texas, as well as assistance in installing the engine. Id. at 345. Bigham personally returned to Texas to perform repairs on the engine. Id. We held that Bigham's agreement to deliver the engine to Texas and assist in its installation were activities purposefully directed at Texas. Ball, 990 S.W.2d at 348. The United States Supreme Court's opinion in Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz (1985) stands for, and is often cited for, the proposition that the existence of a contract with a party in the forum state is not sufficient, standing alone, to establish requisite minimum contacts. See, e.g., Temperature Systems, Inc. v. Bill Pepper, Inc., 854 S.W.2d 669, 675 (Tex.App.-- Dallas 1993, writ dism'd). In discussing interstate contractual relations, the Burger King Court wrote, "we have emphasized that parties who 'reach out beyond one state and create continuing relationships and obligations with citizens of another state' are subject to regulation and sanctions in the other state for the consequences of their activities." Burger King, 471 U.S. at 473. In resolving any doubt as to the effect of a contract alone, the court explicated, "if the question is whether an individual's contract with an out-of-state party alone can automatically establish sufficient minimum contacts in the other party's home state, we believe the answer clearly is that it cannot." Burger King, 471 U.S. at 478. Similarly, the Fifth Circuit has held that the purchasing of products that were constructed in Texas cannot, without more, be sufficient to suggest jurisdiction. See Hydrokinetics, Inc. v. Alaska Mechanical, Inc., 700 F.2d 1026, 1029 (5th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 962, 104 S. Ct. 2180, 80 L. Ed. 2d 561 (1984).