Telco Communications Group v. An Apple a Day, Inc., 977 F. Supp. 404 (E.D. Va. 1997) (full-text).
The plaintiff, a Virginia-based company, sued a company based in Missouri in Virginia for defamatory comments made in press releases posted on the Internet. The defendants claimed that they did not do business in Virginia and therefore, should not be subject to suit in that state.
Trial Court Proceedings
The court rejected the “physical presence” requirement applied in Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, and found that the defendants were conducting business over the Internet by posting the press releases, which could be accessed in Virginia, and that byposting multiple press releases online the defendants were regularly doing or soliciting business in Virginia. “But for the Internet service providers and users present in Virginia, the alleged tort of defamation would not have occurred in Virginia. . . . In addition, because Telco is located here, the firm absorbed the harm here.”
- 937 F. Supp. 295 (S.D.N.Y.1996).