The Second Department, in full-fledged opinion by Justice Brathwaite-Nelson, determined that a products liability case (stemming from a traffic accident in Virginia) against Ford, the manufacturer of the vehicle which rolled over, and Goodyear, the manufacturer of a tire which allegedly failed, could not be brought in New York. The plaintiffs alleged general jurisdiction over both companies based upon business done generally in New York and registration with the NY Department of State. The plaintiffs did not allege long-arm jurisdiction. Neither the vehicle nor the tire was manufactured or purchased from the defendants in New York. The plaintiff had purchased the vehicle from a New York nonparty and had used the vehicle in New York.
We consider on these appeals whether, following the United States Supreme Court decision in Daimler AG v Bauman (571 US 117), a foreign corporation may still be deemed to have consented to the general jurisdiction of New York courts by virtue of having registered to do business in New York and appointed a local agent for the service of process. We conclude that it may not. * * *
We agree with those courts that asserting jurisdiction over a foreign corporation based on the mere registration and the accompanying appointment of an in-state agent by the foreign corporation, without the express consent of the foreign corporation to general jurisdiction, would be “unacceptably grasping” under Daimler (Daimler AG v Bauman, 571 US at 138).
The Court of Appeals does not appear to have … relied upon its consent-by-registration theory since International Shoe was decided. We think that this is a strong indicator that its rationale is confined to that era … and that it no longer holds in the post-Daimler landscape. We conclude that a corporate defendant’s registration to do business in New York and designation of the secretary of state to accept service of process in New York does not constitute consent by the corporation to submit to the general jurisdiction of New York for causes of action that are unrelated to the corporation’s affiliations with New York. Aybar v Aybar, 2019 NY Slip Op 00412, Second Dept 1-23-19