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Georgia Court Dismisses Breach of Contract Suit in Favor of Hodgson Russ Client 

A Hodgson Russ team led by Joseph P. Goldberg obtained a ruling in favor of a France-based Hodgson Russ client in a suit brought against it by a Georgia-based U.S. company. The U.S. company originally brought suit in the Superior Court of Fayette County, Georgia State Court, alleging breach of contract, breach of express and implied warranties, and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing when a product produced by our client that the U.S. company purchased for resale to a passport agency allegedly could not be read by the passport readers. Our client refused to return the deposit the U.S. company had paid for the product.

Hodgson Russ first had the case removed to federal court before moving to dismiss on several grounds, including a forum selection clause in the contract between the parties granting exclusive jurisdiction to the Commercial Court of Aix-en-Provence in France and lack of personal jurisdiction over our client. In arguing that the Commercial Court of Aix-en-Provence in France was a reasonable forum, our client’s motion to dismiss noted that, contrary to the U.S. company’s assertions in the complaint, the agreement between the parties was not governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, but instead by the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. The U.S. company  thereafter amended its complaint to correct its mistake as to applicable law and simultaneously filed an opposition to our client’s motion to dismiss.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted our client’s motion to dismiss the complaint, finding that the evidence presented by Hodgson Russ weighed against the court’s personal jurisdiction over our client. The court drew heavily from detailed client affidavits prepared and submitted by Hodgson Russ in deciding that our client did not have sufficient contacts with Georgia to establish personal jurisdiction.