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The post below was published on Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 AM.

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Certified Question: Corporate Shield Doctrine

Florida law recognizes the corporate shield doctrine and holds that personal jurisdiction will not exist with respect to out-of-state persons whose negligent activities were performed solely on behalf of their employer. So, in theory, an out-of-state corporate employee performing work for his or her employer should not have to worry about being personally sued in Florida, even if the employee’s negligent conduct leads to an injury or damage in this state.

What if the employee comes to Florida, on business, and performs the challenged act here? Does the corporate shield apply?

That issue confronted the Fourth District in this case. A divided court certified the following question to the state supreme court as a question of great public importance:

WHERE AN INDIVIDUAL, NON-RESIDENT DEFENDANT COMMITS NEGLIGENT ACTS IN FLORIDA ON BEHALF OF HIS CORPORATE EMPLOYER, DOES THE CORPORATE SHIELD DOCTRINE OPERATE AS A BAR TO PERSONAL JURISDICTION IN FLORIDA OVER T H E INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANT?

The majority’s answer was yes. Judge Farmer dissented.

















































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