Friday, November 26, 2004
An $80 million breach of contract judgment was thrown out this week by the Mississippi Supreme Court because the plaintiff filed the suit in the wrong state. The plaintiff, Carroll Hood, had claimed breach of an exclusive marketing agreement against St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. He won the jury verdict in 2001.
Trouble is, a forum selection clause in the contract provided that all disputes must be brought in federal court in Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas, when St. Paul is located. The trial judge, said the court, should have dismissed the action. Because there was no mechanism for transferring the case, the judgment was overturned and dismissed.