Court of Appeals: Div. I – Washington Courts Don’t Have Jurisdiction Over a Dispute Between Two Foreign Corporations
SeaHavn was a company based in the British Virgin Islands. Glitnir Bank is a bank based in Iceland. They negotiated a loan to buy fishing vessels from a Greek company. They signed parts of an agreement in Seattle, Washington. The deal fell apart and SeaHavn sued Glitnir Bank in the King County Superior Court. Other than signing the deal in Washington, Glitnir Bank had virtually no connection to the State of Washington.
The Court of Appeals held that because Glitnir Bank had minimal contacts with the State of Washington, it could not have reasonably foreseen that it would be hailed into court in the State of Washington. Glitnir Bank had not purposefully availed itself to the benefits of the laws of State of Washington. As such, the Washington long arm statute, RCW 4.28.185, when read to incorporate the requirements of the Due Process clause as set for in the United States Supreme Court case of Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz (and others), gave the courts of Washington personal jurisdiction over Glitnir Bank.