Monday, August 6, 2018

Are "Nationwide" Sales on Amazon Sufficient to Show Injury in M.D.Fla. for Venue Purposes?

Yes.

Thursday, LLC and Klhip, Inc. are both retailers that use Amazon to sell nail clippers online.  Klhip filed a number of claims with Amazon about Thursday.  In response, Amazon would take Thursday down and investigate.  Each time, Klhip's allegations have been found baseless (and Thursday's Amazon presence has been restored). 

Thursday, a Florida corporation located in Clearwater, sued Klhip for unfair competition, tortious interference, and violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUPTA) (among other claims).  Klhip, whose CEO lives in Idaho, sought to transfer the case there pursuant to either 28 U.S.C. 1391(b) (arguing that venue in M.D. Fla. was entirely improper) or 28 U.S.C. 1404(b) (arguing that it would be more convenient to litigate in Idaho).

Concerning the propriety of venue (28 U.S.C. 1391(b)), the Court quickly disposed of Klhip's challenge.  Thursday notes that it sells thousands of its nail clippers in this district, and Klhip's statements about Thursday (to Amazon) have hurt Thursday in this district, thus supporting jurisdiction  The Court agreed.

Concerning transfer for convenience of the parties, the Court rejected Klhip's argument that Idaho would be more convenient.  The analysis followed the typical analysis in a 1404 decision, but notably noticed the importance of the FDUPTA claim, explaining that: "[a] district judge in Florida indisputably has the advantage in an action based on Florida law and is most adept at applying Florida law.  As a result [familiarity with the governing law] distinctly disfavors transfer."

Motion to transfer, denied.
Thursday, LLC v. Klhip, Inc., Case No. 8:17-cv-1587-T-36AEP (M.D. Fla. July 11, 2018) (J. Honeywell)

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