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Radigan v. Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club

Decided: June 1, 1976.

JOHN J. RADIGAN AND RUTH RADIGAN, PLAINTIFFS.
v.
INNISBROOK RESORT AND GOLF CLUB, TEXIZE CHEMICALS, INC., ALSO KNOWN AS MORTON-NORWICH PRODUCTS, INC., AND INDEX, A SOUTH CAROLINA CORP. DOING BUSINESS IN NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANTS



Dreier, J.c.c., Temporarily Assigned.

Dreier

Plaintiff, a New Jersey resident, brought this action to recover for injuries sustained as a result of a fall at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Defendant Innisbrook has moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it has insufficient contacts with New Jersey to support a constitutional exercise of in personam jurisdiction.

International Shoe Co. v. Washington , 326 U.S. 310, 66 S. Ct. 154, 90 L. Ed. 95 (1945), represents the starting point for any discussion of long-arm service of process. There it was established that a state court may take jurisdiction of a controversy by appropriate notice to the nonresident if defendant has sufficient contacts with the state. In the course of its opinion the court stated:

As was noted in Cooke v. Yarrington , 62 N.J. 123 (1973):

I

In support of its motion to dismiss defendant furnished the court with the affidavit of John Werner, vice-president of Golf Hosts International, Inc., the corporation which owns Innisbrook (although there are individual owners of on-site condominium units who share income from a rental pool). He states that "Innisbrook does not advertise in any periodicals published in New Jersey, although it does advertise in magazines that are distributed nationally and may find their way into New Jersey." Based upon this recitation defendant places reliance upon Dowd v. Boro Drugs Inc. , 70 N.J. Super. 488 (App. Div. 1961). In Dowd a New York corporation had sold its products to an independent New York distributor, who then distributed them to retailers in New Jersey. Since the nonresident corporation merely advertised its products in national magazines, some of which were circulated in New Jersey, the court found these contacts insufficient to justify the assumption of in personam jurisdiction. 70 N.J. Super. at 505.

This court is satisfied that the instant case is readily distinguishable from Dowd. Even though Dowd has not been expressly overruled, later cases have cast doubt upon its underlying reasoning. For example, in Roland v. Modell's

Shoppers World of Bergen Cty., Inc. , 92 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 1966), the court noted:

Thus, in view of the questionable status of the Dowd reasoning, and more recent decisions discussed infra , this court finds Dowd to be inapplicable. Cf. Blessing v. Prosser , 141 N.J. Super. 548 (App. Div. 1976, decided May 25, 1976, after oral argument of this motion) which, although not citing Dowd , by its holding left little if any viability to the Dowd reasoning.

Plaintiff's opposing affidavit indicates that since his stay at Innisbrook, and prior to suit, he and several of his friends have received in New Jersey illustrated brochures, letters and other promotional literature soliciting their return. Reservation forms were enclosed. These brochures and other exhibits have been viewed by the court. In addition, letters to the condominium unit owners in New Jersey contain such statements as:

Dear Rental Pool Participant:

Dear Rental Pool ...


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