Florida Case Law & Florida Court Opinions - Florida Law
|Need Legal Help?|
NOT FINDING WHAT YOU NEED? -CLICK HERE
This court case was taken from the Florida Court's web site. Search our site for more cases - CLICK HERE
NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES
TO FILE REHEARING MOTION
AND, IF FILED, DISPOSED OF.
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL
JULY TERM, A.D., 2001
ELENA SALAME BUTO,
CASE NO. 3D01-1245
TRIBUNAL NO. 00-25001
Opinion filed December 12, 2001.
An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Judith
Scott A. Mager, and Gary S. Gaffney (Fort Lauderdale), for
Sarnoff & Bayer, and Marc David Sarnoff, for appellee.
Before JORGENSON, COPE, and GERSTEN, JJ.
Elena Salame Buto ("Buto") appeals an order dismissing her
complaint against Sirius International Insurance Company ("Sirius")
for lack of personal jurisdiction. We reverse.
Buto, a resident of Honduras, became ill while visiting in
Miami, Florida, and incurred medical expenses for treatment during
hospitalization. Buto was insured under a health insurance policy
from Sirius, a Swedish company, and filed a claim for her medical
expenses. When Sirius failed to pay the expenses, Buto brought suit
in Miami, Florida, under the following provision in the Certificate
of Insurance which states that any disputes concerning payment of
medical costs would be litigated in a United States Court. The
6. SERVICE OF SUIT -It is agreed that in the event of
the failure of the Company to pay any amount claimed to be
due hereunder, at the request of the Insured Person, will
submit to the jurisdiction of a Court of competent
jurisdiction within the United States. Nothing in this
clause constitutes or should be understood to constitute a
waiver of the Company's rights to commence an action in a
court of competent jurisdiction in the United States, to
remove an action to a United States District Court, or to
seek a transfer of a case to another court as permitted by
the laws of the United States or of any state in the United
States. In any such suit against the Company upon this
agreement, the Company will abide by the final decision of
such Court or of any Appellate Court in the event of an
Sirius responded by filing a motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction. The trial court dismissed the case, finding
that a foreign corporation cannot be subjected to Florida
jurisdiction based solely on a contract provision but must have an
independent basis for personal jurisdiction to attach. See C.R.
McRae v. J.D./M.D., Inc., 511 So. 2d 540 (Fla. 1987).
An independent basis for personal jurisdiction under the long-
arm statute is breaching a contract in this state by failing to
perform acts required by a contract. § 48.193(1)(g), Fla. Stat.
(2000). Here, Sirius breached its own contract when it failed to
pay the medical providers in Florida, where the cause of action
accrued. See Alexander Proudfoot Co. World Headquarters L.P., Inc.
v. Thayer, 877 F.2d 912 (11th Cir. 1989). That was sufficient to
subject Sirius to personal jurisdiction in Florida. See Desai Patel
Sharma Limited v. Don Bell Ind., Inc., 729 So 2d 453 (Fla. 5th DCA
Because Sirius contractually waived jurisdiction and breached
the contract in Florida, the jurisdiction requirement has been
satisfied. Accordingly, we reverse the order dismissing Buto's
LEGAL HELP FORUM - Potential Client ? Post your question.
LEGAL HELP FORUM - Attorney? Answer Questions, Maybe get hired!
NOW - CASE
LAW - All 50 States - Federal Courts - Try
it for FREE
Ask Your Legal Question Now.
Pennsylvania Lawyer Help Board
Find An Attorney
Created and Developed by
Copyright 1997 - 2010.
A Division of