Friday, June 2, 2017

Case of the Day: Johnson v. Marriott Int'l, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72283 (W.D. Wash. May 11, 2017)


Plaintiff was an American who tripped and injured herself at the Marriott hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. In the resulting personal injury suit, defendant Marriott International averred that the hotel was owned and operated by a company organized and existing under the laws of Thailand. Defendant moved to dismiss based on forum non conveniens.

The court denied the motion. The court found that the plaintiff may be able to add the Thai company and assert a plausible theory of jurisdiction, such as an alter ego theory or general or specific jurisdiction. The court also found that the plaintiff may be able to allege additional causes of action against the defendant, such as apparent agency. 


Attorneys who represent plaintiffs frequently will want to flag this case, as it is a rare example of a U.S. court bucking the trend of litigation isolationism. In most cases, the court would have found that it would not have jurisdiction over the Thai company that operated the hotel and dismissed the case.

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