793 F.2d 427 (1st Cir. 1986), 85-1905, Marino v. Hyatt Corp.

Docket Nº:85-1905.
Citation:793 F.2d 427
Party Name:Mary MARINO and Thomas Marino, Plaintiffs, Appellants, v. HYATT CORPORATION, Defendant, Appellee.
Case Date:June 16, 1986
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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793 F.2d 427 (1st Cir. 1986)

Mary MARINO and Thomas Marino, Plaintiffs, Appellants,


HYATT CORPORATION, Defendant, Appellee.

No. 85-1905.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

June 16, 1986

Argued April 9, 1986.

Lois L. Siegel, with whom Pamela S. Schwartz, Laurence, Mass., was on brief, for plaintiffs, appellants.

Paul S. Grand, with whom Paul W. Goodrich, Carol A. Griffin and Morrison, Mahoney & Miller, Boston, Mass., were on brief, for defendant, appellee.

Before CAMPBELL, Chief Judge, and COFFIN and BOWNES, Circuit Judges.


Plaintiffs-appellants Mary and Thomas Marino appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissing their complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction over defendant-appellee Hyatt Corporation. We affirm.


The complaint alleges, in substance, as follows. Plaintiffs are Massachusetts residents and defendant Hyatt is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. In the spring and summer of 1982, plaintiffs made reservations and contracted to stay at defendant's Hyatt Regency Hotel in Maui, Hawaii, through the Rite Way Travel Agency in Methuen, Massachusetts. In July of 1982, plaintiffs traveled to Maui, where they took up lodgings at the Hyatt Regency. On or about July 21, 1982, Mary Marino was injured when she slipped and fell in the bathtub of the hotel room she was sharing with her husband.

Plaintiffs brought this action for damages in the Superior Court for Essex County, Massachusetts, in a complaint dated July 10, 1985. On August 7, 1985, Hyatt removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. On August 12, Hyatt moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction over it. The district court granted Hyatt's motion on October 17, 1985, and this appeal followed.


The central issue on this appeal is whether the district court erred in deciding that it lacked personal jurisdiction over defendant Hyatt under the Massachusetts long-arm statute, Mass.Gen.Laws ch. 223A, Sec. 3(a) (1984). 1 Section 3 provides in relevant part,

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Transactions or conduct for personal jurisdiction

A court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person, who acts directly or by an agent, as to a cause of action in law or equity arising from the person's

(a) transacting any business in this commonwealth; ....

There seems little doubt that Hyatt, a foreign corporation headquartered in Chicago, "transact[s] ... business in th[e] commonwealth" within the meaning of section 3(a). The complaint alleges, and Hyatt does not dispute, that among the hotels Hyatt owns and operates is one in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and that Hyatt regularly advertises and solicits business within the Commonwealth. See, e.g., Bond Leather Co. v. Q.T. Shoe Manufacturing Co., 764 F.2d 928, 932 (1st Cir.1985); Ross v. Ross, 371 Mass. 439, 441, 358 N.E.2d 437, 439 (1976). 2

But it is not enough for the purposes of section 3(a) that a defendant transact business in Massachusetts. The cause of action itself must "aris[e] from" the defendant's transacting of business in Massachusetts. We find no merit in plaintiffs' argument that this court, in effect, read the "arising from" language out of the statute by our decision in Nova Biomedical Corp. v. Moller, 629 F.2d 190 (1st Cir.1980). That case merely held that the "arising from" requirement was not essential to a finding that the assertion of personal jurisdiction over a defendant comported with due process. Id. at 193 n. 3. The correct principle of Massachusetts law remains, as we most recently stated in Gray v. O'Brien, 777 F.2d 864 (1st Cir.1985),

Although the "transacting of any business" clause should be construed broadly "and applies to any purposeful acts by an individual, whether personal, private, or commercial," ... the exercise of jurisdiction under the Massachusetts long-arm statute will nonetheless fail if the cause of action did not arise from defendant's transaction of business in Massachusetts.

Id. at 867 (citations omitted). Here, therefore, it must be shown not merely that Hyatt engages in business within Massachusetts but that plaintiffs' personal injury claims, based on Mrs. Marino's slip and fall in the bathtub of the Hyatt hotel in Maui, Hawaii, arose from one or more of Hyatt's business transactions within Massachusetts. See Good Hope Industries, Inc. v. Ryder Scott Co., 378 Mass. 1, 10 n. 17, 389 N.E.2d 76, 82 n. 17 (1979).

To make such a showing, plaintiffs rely exclusively on facts alleged in their complaint. 3 They allege there that, prior to

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Mrs. Marino's accident in Hawaii, they transacted business with Hyatt in Massachusetts by making reservations in its hotel (presumably the one in Hawaii) through a travel agent in Methuen, Massachusetts. They also allege, referring presumably to the same reservation transaction, that Hyatt "entered into a contract with the Plaintiffs, while the Plaintiffs were in Massachusetts, contracting to supply services to the Plaintiffs, specifically, a contract to provide the Plaintiffs with a room to stay in in its hotel in Maui, Hawaii."

Plaintiffs argue that these parts of the complaint indicate that their personal injury claims, stemming from Mrs. Marino's slipping in the bathtub at the Maui, Hawaii, Hyatt hotel, arose from the reservation contract entered into in Massachusetts. In making this argument, plaintiffs rely particularly on our decision in Hahn v. Vermont Law School, 698 F.2d 48 (1st Cir.1983). 4 There Hahn, a Massachusetts resident, sued in the Massachusetts district court for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages for breach of contract against Vermont Law School, a Vermont corporation, and Thomas Ross, a teacher at the school, after Ross gave Hahn a failing grade. The district court declined to exercise jurisdiction over Vermont Law School under section 3(a) of the Massachusetts long-arm statute because, although the law school had transacted business in Massachusetts by sending recruiters into the Commonwealth, Hahn's cause of action did not arise out of this transaction of business, there being no indication that the recruiters had visited any Massachusetts colleges while Hahn was an undergraduate.

On appeal, this court reversed the district court's finding that there was no personal jurisdiction over Vermont Law School under section 3(a). We noted that the school...

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