COURT FINDS JURISDICTION OVER FOREIGN DEFENDANT.
International University of the Health Sciences v. Abeles, 45 Fla. L Weekly D1616 (Fla. 4th DCA July 08, 2020):
IUHS is an offshore for-profit private medical school located in St. Kitts and Nevis. It operated a medical school where students take some classes locally, but also attend classes via video conferences in other locations.
Notably, the defendant administered its business in Florida, and to assist with the development and management of its operations, defendant hired the appellee—a resident of Palm Beach County—and entered into an employment agreement with him for his services as a medical education consultant. The underlying lawsuit involved a breach of contract claim.
There was evidence that the school’s CFO had run the company from his Florida residence for eighteen years, that the corporation had a business bank account in Florida, that the board of directors conducted meetings in Florida, and that tuition payments were deposited into a bank account used to pay salaries, make purchases, etc. The court found that all of these contacts were enough for Florida to assert personal jurisdiction over the defendant, because they showed that the defendant conducted substantial and ongoing activity in the State (and both specific and general jurisdiction thresholds were met under these facts).