The First Department determined defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint based upon a lack of personal jurisdiction was properly denied because the defense was waived when defendant did not specifically deny an allegation of general jurisdiction made in the complaint. The court explained the mechanics of denying jurisdiction:
… [T]he defendant argues that it asserted a defense of lack of personal jurisdiction in its answer, and thus preserved the issue for adjudication in its present motion.
Personal jurisdiction is not an element of a claim, and matters that are not elements need not be pleaded in the complaint …. Where the plaintiff has not alleged facts specifically addressing the issue of personal jurisdiction in its complaint, the defendant must assert lack of personal jurisdiction as an affirmative defense in order to give plaintiff notice that it is contesting it (see CPLR 3018). Where the plaintiff elects to allege facts specifically addressing the issue of personal jurisdiction in its complaint, the defendant’s denial of those allegations may be sufficient to preserve defendant’s jurisdictional defense … . …
The specific allegations of plaintiff’s complaint … track, almost verbatim, the language of personal jurisdiction in CPLR 302, which provides the bases for specific jurisdiction. Defendant’s denial of these allegations is sufficient to provide notice to plaintiff that it is contesting specific jurisdiction.
The allegations of plaintiff’s complaint paragraphs 83 and 84 purport to establish a basis for general jurisdiction. They were not denied by defendant, rather defendant admitted them to the extent that it “is a duly organized foreign corporation doing business in New York . . .” This answer, interposed in 2004, before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Daimler AG v Bauman, 571 US 117 (2014), would have provided a basis for general jurisdiction. It, therefore, does not qualify as a specific denial that would have put plaintiff on notice that the defendant is contesting general jurisdiction. Defendant’s failure to clearly provide an objection to general jurisdiction in its answer waived the defense and conferred jurisdiction upon the court … . Matter of New York City Asbestos Litig., 2019 NY Slip Op 04777, First Dept 6-13-19