Airplane Crash Lawsuit Jurisdiction In Texas

In Bearry v. Beech Aircraft Corp., 818 F.2d 370 (5th Cir.1987), survivors of those killed in a Beech aircraft in Mississippi sued Beech in Texas on product liability theories. 818 F.2d at 372.

Beech had engaged in a nationwide marketing campaign, during which nearly $ 250 million of its products had flowed to 17 independent Texas dealers. Id.

Its representatives had occasionally visited Texas at the dealers' request. Beech, 818 F.2d at 373.

Beech had also manufactured over $ 72 million of airframe assemblies for a Texas helicopter company (not a Beech independent dealer), with all products shipped F.O.B. Beech's facilities. Id.

Additionally, Beech had bought over $ 195 million of goods and services from over 500 Texas vendors pursuant to contracts negotiated, and under which goods were accepted, outside Texas. Id.

Nevertheless, the Beech court held that Beech did not have the systematic and continuous contacts needed to invoke general personal jurisdiction. Beech, 818 F.2d at 376.

Beech is distinguishable to the extent it was considering :

(1) whether the independent dealers' activities could be attributed to Beech;

(2) whether Beech's relationship with those dealers could be considered;

(3) whether a "stream of commerce" theory supported jurisdiction.