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Can I enter a claim in a Wisconsin court against a company in Minnesota?

Asked by user in Minnesota.

A granite company from Coon Rapids, MN broke a sink on a granite counter top during the installation. At first the business owner tried to explain the broken sink as ‘probably defective’ and breakage was not their responsibility. In subsequent conversations he has offered to reinstall a new sink if we purchased it. However, it turns out to be a non-standard sink dimension that I had furnished and apparently no replacement is available which means a new top with a cutout to match a new sink will be required. We are now at an impasse since they are not answering emails or the phone.

Answered by Enjuris Editors

The term “personal jurisdiction” refers to the power a court has to make a decision regarding the party being sued. A court in Wisconsin has personal jurisdiction over a company if: (1) the company was incorporated in Wisconsin, (2) the company has “substantial and continuous operations” in Wisconsin, or (3) the action giving rise to the claim occurred in Wisconsin. Based on the information you provided, it sounds like the action giving rise to the claim (breaking the sink) occurred in Wisconsin. Additionally, it sounds like the Minnesota company may have “substantial and continuous operations” in Wisconsin. This would be the case if, for example, the Minnesota company routinely completed construction projects in Wisconsin.

Accordingly, based on the information you provided, you can most likely sue the Minnesota company in Wisconsin. Keep in mind that there might be information you haven’t told me that could impact this answer. For example, it’s possible that the construction contract you signed with the Minnesota company includes a clause that limits where you can file a lawsuit (this would not be uncommon). “

  • The company was incorporated in Wisconsin,
  • The company has “substantial and continuous operations” in Wisconsin, or
  • The action giving rise to the claim occurred in Wisconsin

Based on the information you provided, it sounds like the action giving rise to the claim (breaking the sink) occurred in Wisconsin. Additionally, it sounds like the Minnesota company may have “substantial and continuous operations” in Wisconsin. This would be the case if, for example, the Minnesota company routinely completed construction projects in Wisconsin.

In conclusion, based on the information you provided, you can most likely sue the Minnesota company in Wisconsin. Keep in mind that there might be information I don’t know that could impact this answer. For example, it’s possible that the construction contract you signed with the Minnesota company has a clause that limits where you can file a lawsuit.

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