Griffith v. SSC Pueblo Belmont Operating Co.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Christine Griffith sued nine entities and two individuals, alleging that they injured her father, who was a resident of a nursing home in Colorado. She alleged her father's injuries eventually caused his death. The individuals and four of the nine entities conceded jurisdiction and answered the complaint. The remaining five entities contested jurisdiction, arguing they were nonresident companies who were not subject to personal jurisdiction in Colorado. The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was the circumstance under which nonresident parent companies could be haled into Colorado courts based on the activities of their resident subsidiaries. The Colorado Supreme Court held that in order for a Colorado court to exercise jurisdiction over a nonresident parent company, the trial court will analyze: (1) whether it may pierce the corporate veil and impute the resident subsidiary's contacts to the parent; and if the veil was pierced, the trial court will analyze (2) all of the subsidiary's contacts to determine whether jurisdiction comports with due process. If the trial court cannot pierce the corporate veil, then it shall treat each entity separately and analyze only the contacts that the parent company has with the state. Because the trial court did not perform this two-step analysis when it determined petitioners were subject to personal jurisdiction in Colorado, the Supreme Court remanded for the trial court to perform that analysis.