In May, 1972, at Stanford, California, appellant Duignan's physician, at her request, inserted into her an intrauterine device known as a Dalkon Shield, manufactured and supplied by respondent A.H. Robins Company, a corporation with its principal place of business in Richmond, Virginia. Appellant moved to Idaho on July 1, 1974, and has resided here until the present.
In October, 1974, appellant developed an infection and resultant tubal abscess which required a surgical procedure known as a left salpingectomy (removal of the left fallopian tube) on October 28, 1974, at Blaine County Hospital. In January, 1975, appellant underwent further exploratory surgery on her right fallopian tube.
On July 22, 1975, appellant filed her complaint containing three counts against A.H. Robins Company sounding in negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty, and seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
On September 3, 1975, respondent A.H. Robins Company filed a motion to quash service of summons and a motion to dismiss. In an order signed November 7, 1975, the trial court granted the motion to dismiss the complaint "due to lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter and lack of jurisdiction of the person." Appellant's motion for leave to amend her complaint was denied by the trial court in an order dated January 5, 1976. Appeal is taken from the two orders.
The single issue presented by this appeal is whether the trial court erred in ruling that an Idaho court can have no jurisdiction over A.H. Robins Company under the "tortious act" language of this
Appellant Duignan argues that the holding in Doggett v. Electronics Corporation of America, 93 Idaho 26, 454 P.2d 63 (1969), is squarely on point and must control. That case involved the explosion of a boiler during installation in Idaho, with alleged negligence on the part of the out-of-state manufacturing process. The Court in Doggett rejected any interpretation of "tortious act within this state" that would require both the manufacturer's negligent act and the plaintiff's injury to occur in Idaho. I.C. § 5-514(b) was read to mean that,
The trial court distinguished Doggett, because there the boiler explosion and resulting injury clearly occurred in Idaho. In the present case, on the contrary,
The trial court reasoned: Because a tort consists of an act and an injury, and because the ultimate result of the injury (here the surgery) is not part of the tort, no "tortious act" had been committed in Idaho.
A.H. Robins Company insists that any other conclusion would fly in the face of Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 78 S.Ct. 1228, 2 L.Ed.2d 1283 (1958), the United States Supreme Court case which demarcates the constitutional limits of a state's long-arm jurisdiction:
Here, the argument goes, it was the "unilateral activity" of Duignan in moving to Idaho which alone renders respondent A.H. Robins Company vulnerable to the jurisdiction of the Idaho courts. A forum-shopping plaintiff with a "portable tort" should not be able to use Idaho's long-arm statute to sue a corporation which lacks any other contact with the state.
Whatever one might think of these arguments under a different set of facts, they are not to the point in this case. Here, appellant sought to amend her complaint so as to prove that the "injury" — and thus the consummation of the "tortious act" — occurred in Idaho. Duignan herself submitted an affidavit to the effect that she was in excellent health when she moved to Idaho on July 1, 1974. Her physician likewise submitted an affidavit, stating:
Despite these affidavits, the trial court denied appellant's motion to reopen the case and amend her complaint.
We need not rule on the trial court's denial of this motion. The trial court's memorandum decision makes it clear that the allegation of injury in Idaho had already been made during the hearing on respondent's motion to quash service of summons:
This allegation brings this case squarely within the fact pattern of Doggett, namely, a defective product which is introduced into the stream of commerce out-of-state and which subsequently malfunctions in-state, thereby causing injury to an Idaho resident. The trial court, however, indulged the opposite presumption in finding that "the device was inserted in California, and the injury presumably commenced at that moment." (Emphasis added.)
This Court has long held that in considering 12(b) motions for dismissal, the complaint must be liberally construed so as to do substantial justice, and all doubts must be resolved in favor of the party opposing the motion. Intermountain Business Forms, Inc. v. Shepard Business Forms Co., 96 Idaho 538, 540, 531 P.2d 1183 (1975). This is particularly so in the present context where the Court has held that
It is therefore unnecessary to rule on the "portable tort" hypotheticals of the trial court and of respondent. We hold simply that the facts alleged in the present case suffice to bring A.H. Robins Company within the jurisdiction of the courts of Idaho on the grounds that it has allegedly committed "a tortious act within this state."
Having brought herself within the statutory language, plaintiff-appellant need meet only one other test: Would the exercise of jurisdiction by an Idaho court so offend "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice" as to violate Robins' constitutional right to due process? See, International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945), McGee v. International Life Ins. Co., 355 U.S. 220, 78 S.Ct. 199, 2 L.Ed.2d 223 (1957).
The factors which a trial court should consider in determining whether it is fair to exercise long-arm jurisdiction over a non-resident manufacturer whose product has allegedly injured a resident plaintiff of Idaho were well stated in Phillips v. Anchor Hocking Glass, 100 Ariz. 251, 413 P.2d 732 (1966):
California's sole contact with this case is its being the location where appellant's intrauterine device was inserted. Idaho, by contrast, is the state of residence of appellant and of her physician and surgeon, as well as the location of the hospital where the operation was performed and where the medical records are kept. We can find no inconvenience or unfairness in forcing a Virginia based corporation to defend itself in Idaho rather than in California against a claim that its product has caused appellant's injury.
Ours is an age of great mobility, both of people and of products. To lose sight of this fact and to engage in the kind of hair-splitting analysis urged by respondent
In a products liability case, we find persuasive the analysis provided by, "In Personam Jurisdiction over Non-Resident Manufactures in Product Liability Actions," 63 Michigan Law Review 1028:
We therefore repeat the conclusion of Doggett that, "If dangerously defective goods are placed in the interstate flow of commerce, those whose negligence created the defect should be prepared to defend themselves wherever injury should occur." 93 Idaho at 31-32, 454 P.2d at 68. The trial court's order granting respondent's motions to quash the service of summons and dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction is reversed and the cause remanded for further proceedings. Costs to appellants.
McFADDEN, C.J., and DONALDSON, SHEPARD and BAKES, JJ., concur.
We therefore offer no opinion as to what result would be dictated by the above language under the facts of this case.