Madden v. Petland Summerville LLC

Full title: MEGAN and TIM MADDEN; NICOLE and PETER CURRY; LAURA WILLIAMS; KRISTA…

Court: United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

2:20-cv-02953-DCN

Date published: Dec 6, 2021

Fact:

  • Plaintiffs purchased dogs from Petland Summerville, LLC, a franchisee of Petland, Inc., in South Carolina.
  • The purchased dogs later developed various illnesses allegedly attributable to breeding practices.
  • Plaintiffs filed suit against Petland, Inc. and the franchise owners for various claims including negligence, breach of contract, and misrepresentation.
  • Petland, Inc. moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Issue:
    • Whether the court has personal jurisdiction over Petland, Inc. in South Carolina based on the specific activities and contacts of Petland, Inc. related to the plaintiffs’ claims.
  • Decision:
    • The court granted Petland, Inc.’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
    • The court found that plaintiffs failed to establish a direct and meaningful connection between Petland, Inc.’s franchise-related activities and the claims in the lawsuit.
    • The court concluded that Petland, Inc.’s general franchise-related activities, such as setting standards, providing marketing materials, and conducting visits, did not sufficiently relate to the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the sale of unhealthy puppies and related misrepresentations by Petland Summerville.
    • Therefore, the court determined that it did not have the authority to adjudicate the claims against Petland, Inc. in this particular lawsuit, leading to Petland, Inc. being dismissed from the case.

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