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Fernandez v. McDaniel Controls, Inc., 999 F. Supp. 1365 (D. Haw. 1998) (full-text).

Factual Background[]

Sean Fernandez was injured when a pressure gauge distributed by McDaniel Controls exploded. He sued the company, a Louisiana corporation with employees there and in Florida and Indiana. He alleged personal jurisdiction under Hawaii's long-arm statute, claiming defendant did business in the state. Among the facts he advanced to prove jurisdiction were advertising in national trade magazines received in Hawaii and through its website on the Internet.

Trial Court Proceedings[]

The court held that it had no jurisdiction over McDaniel, quoting from Cybersell v. Cybersell,[1] that "no court has ever held that an Internet advertisement alone is sufficient to subject the advertiser to jurisdiction in the plaintiff's home state. Rather, in each case, there has been 'something more' to indicate that the defendant purposefully (albeit electronically) directed his activity in a substantial way to the forum state."

Plaintiff alleged that there was "something more," namely defendant's shipment of approximately 1% of its gauges to Hawaii, through contracts with other distributors. The court said that that was insufficient to justify a finding of personal jurisdiction.


  1. 130 F.3d 414 (9th Cir. 1997) (full-text).