A California appeals court revived claims against a Georgia-based bus manufacturer in a suit alleging one of its vehicles crushed a man’s foot after it was converted to a bookmobile, saying the trial court’s finding that it didn’t have sufficient contact with California “cannot be squared with the record.”
The three-judge panel sent Daniel Rossa’s claims against Blue Bird Body Co. back to the trial court for further proceedings, as Blue Bird’s presence in the state — including relationships with a number of auto service providers — is enough to defeat Blue Bird’s bid to quash service of summons and escape the case.
Though their evidence is thin, there is enough to establish that Blue Bird purposefully targeted the California market and deliberately availed itself of the benefits of operating in the state.
Rossa was a driver of the bookmobile for the County of San Mateo and, in April 2018, the electrical retracting steps on the vehicle malfunctioned and crushed his foot, much of which was later amputated.
Rossa sued Blue Bird among others, and Blue Bird sought to quash service, arguing it had manufactured the bus in Georgia, not California, and had no control over its modification into a bookmobile.