Authors: Cristian L. Vallejo & Eric S. Jones
Foreign companies doing, or planning on doing, business in California should be aware that a recent decision from the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held that under certain circumstances a foreign corporation can be validly served in California by serving such corporation’s California-based subsidiary despite the requirements of the Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters (the “Hague Service Convention”). Such Decision requires foreign companies to be alert to the receipt of service documentation by their California-based subsidiaries.
The plaintiff in the case was a 12-year-old boy who was injured while riding a Yamaha product. A lawsuit was brought against Yamaha Motor Corporation USA (“Yamaha-America”) and Yamaha Motor Company, Ltd. (“Yamaha-Japan”). Plaintiff alleged that Yamaha-America was the wholly owned domestic subsidiary of Yamaha-Japan and the exclusive importer and distributer of Yamaha vehicles for the United States. In addition, plaintiff alleged that Yamaha-America conducted the following activities in connection with Yamaha vehicles: testing, provision of warranty and owner manuals, marketing, and receiving of all customer complaints and accident reports for the United States. Plaintiff’s theory to serve Yamaha-Japan by serving Yamaha-America was that Yamaha-America was Yamaha-Japan’s “general manager” in California and, as
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP’s attorneys stand ready to assist you with any questions you may
have regarding the implications of this decision.
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Cristian L. Vallejo - Mr. Vallejo’s practice focuses on both financial restructuring and finance and corporate transactions with particularly experience in cross border transactions. His experience includes: Representation of lenders and investors in corporate finance transactions of all types; Representation of clients in connection with the start -up and acquisition of companies in the US and throughout Latin America; Representa tion of bondholders, lenders, servicers and other creditors in connection with financial restructuring and workouts, involving multiple jurisdictions, of US and Latin American based companies; and
Representation of clients in connection with the development and financing of large energy and other infrastructure projects throughout Latin America.
Eric S. Jones - Mr. Jones is an associate with the Business, Finance & Tax practice group in the
Los Angeles office. He has a broad-based tax practice in corporate, partnership, international and individual income tax, including mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and dissolutions, choice of entity considerations, executive compensation, and transactional matters.