At the end of last month, courts handed down two decisions in favor of website operators and their service providers in session replay litigation, granting motions to dismiss on personal jurisdiction grounds.
Alves v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, No. 22-11820-WGY (D. Mass. July 24, 2023).
The plaintiff claimed that Goodyear violated a Massachusetts wiretapping law by deploying session replay code on its website that allegedly records and intercepts website visitors’ electronic communications with the site. To establish personal jurisdiction over Goodyear, an Ohio corporation, in Massachusetts, the plaintiff alleged that the session replay technology collected data about users in Massachusetts and that Goodyear purportedly knew that based on location data.
The court held that personal jurisdiction did not attach because Goodyear had contracted for and deployed the code outside the forum. In line with other cases addressing the issue, the court also held that the mere fact Goodyear’s website was accessible in Massachusetts was insufficient grounds for finding that Goodyear had purposefully directed the alleged session replay activities at Massachusetts. The court granted Goodyear’s motion to dismiss, with leave to amend.
Hasson v. FullStory, Inc., No. 2:22-CV-1246, 2023 WL 4745961, at *4 (W.D. Pa. July 25, 2023).
The plaintiff claimed that FullStory, a session replay provider, violated Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act by providing services to Mattress Firm, which deployed its session replay software on its website. FullStory moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
The court held that FullStory was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Pennsylvania because the plaintiff failed to allege facts showing that FullStory had expressly aimed its session replay service at the state. Mattress Firm is a Texas-based company, and the plaintiff’s allegations that FullStory had other Pennsylvania clients were irrelevant to the analysis. For that reason, the district court denied the plaintiff’s request to conduct jurisdictional discovery. The court also found that litigating in the Western District of Pennsylvania would place an undue burden on FullStory given that the company is headquartered in Georgia. Concluding that any amendment would be “futile,” the Court granted FullStory’s motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.