Apel Steel Corporation v. JS Nationwide Erectors, Inc.Annotate this Case
Northstar Battery Company, LLC ("Northstar"), petitions this Court for a writ of mandamus directing the Cullman Circuit Court to vacate its order denying Northstar's motion to dismiss the action filed against it by Apel Steel Corporation ("Apel") and to enter an order dismissing the action for lack of in personam jurisdiction. The case stemmed from a contract in which Apel Steel was working as a subcontractor for a battery manufacturing plant in Springfield, Missouri. Northstar Battery, owner of the plant, contracted with Walton Construction to serve as general contractor. Apel had further subcontracted a portion of its work to JS Nationwide, who erected structural steel at the plant. Sparks from welding started a fire which resulted in the destruction of property/equipment, and caused heat and smoke damage in the affected area of the plant. The contract between Apel and Walton contained a provision by which Apel allegedly waived all rights against JS Nationwide. Counts against Northstar alleged negligence, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, misrepresentation and conspiracy. Northstar moved to dismiss citing lack of personal jurisdiction. Finding that Apel failed to carry its jurisdictional burden, the Supreme Court held that the trial court "clearly" erred in denying Northstar's motion to dismiss. Accordingly, the Court granted Northstar's petition and issued the writ.