Lexington Homes v. Siskind

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

03/24/2006

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

Florida

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Peter Siskind hired Lexington Homes to build a house for him in Hernando County, Florida. The business relationship between Siskind and Lexington deteriorated, and Siskind created a "gripe site" (www.badLexingtonhomesinc.net). The home page of the website stated: "This website... read full description
Parties

Party Issuing Legal Threat: 

Lexington Homes, Inc.

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Peter Siskind

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • Florida

Location of Party: 

  • New York

Legal Counsel: 

Marc Randazza - Weston, Garrou, Walters & Mooney
Description

Peter Siskind hired Lexington Homes to build a house for him in Hernando County, Florida. The business relationship between Siskind and Lexington deteriorated, and Siskind created a "gripe site" (www.badLexingtonhomesinc.net). The home page of the website stated: "This website is dedicated to: all consumers who have had bad experiences using Lexington Builders (west coast of Florida) . . . and the wise, potential customers who read this and draw their own conclusions . . . This page will tell of my experiences when my wife and I contracted with Lexington Builders. Everything said on this page is my opinion, but true." On the rest of the site, Siskind outlined his criticism of Lexington's building practices and his version of the facts of the business relationship between Lexington and himself. Siskind also created a section for "stories" contributed by six Florida residents regarding their experience with Lexington Homes and provided an online form through which users could transmit information to the site.

Lexington filed a lawsuit in Florida state court. The complaint alleged defamation and tortious interference with business relationships. Siskind moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the Florida court lacked personal jurisdiction over him. The court dismissed the lawsuit, holding that exercise of personal jurisdiction over Siskind was not permissible under the due process clause fo the US Constitution. The court held that mere maintenance of a website accessible in Florida was not enought to create jurisdiction, and that the contacts tieing a defendant to the Florida must be particular and specific and not merely contacts that link the defendant with equal strength to all states. The court took into consideration the fact that Siskind did not derive any commercial benefit by doing business with Florida residents through the website.

Lexington appealed the decision. We've been told by one of the attorneys involved in the case that Lexington dropped its appeal in exchange for Mr. Siskind dropping his motion for sanctions against them.

Update:

11/2/2005 - Florida state court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction over Siskind

3/24/2006 - Lexington filed notice of appeal in the Florida Second District Court of Appeal (Case No. 2D06-1355)

Appeal withdrawn.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Personal Jurisdiction
  • Gripe Sites
  • Real Estate
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • Florida

Source of Law: 

  • Florida

Court Name: 

Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, in and for Pinellas/Pasco County, State of Florida Civil Division

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

51-2004-CA-01018-WS

Relevant Documents: