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Dill v. Berquist Construction Co.

California Court of Appeal
29 Cal. Rptr. 2d 746 (1994)


Jim Dill (plaintiff) sued Berquist Construction Company (Berquist) and Strata America (Strata) (defendants) for personal injuries. Both Berquist and Strata were corporations. Dill mailed a copy of the summons and complaint directly to Berquist in Oregon and Strata in Utah, with return receipt requested. Dill addressed the mail only to the corporations. No individual was listed. Kelly Nofziger signed for Bergquist’s receipt of the complaint, and L. Warner signed for Strata. Neither corporation filed any responsive pleadings, and Dill obtained a default judgment against Berquist and Strata for $200,000. Several months later, Berquist and Strata filed motions to dismiss the action. The corporations alleged that they had not been validly served during the three-year statutory window for service because Dill had not served any of the individuals listed in California Code of Civil Procedure § 416.10. Section 416.10 lists the individuals who may be served on behalf of a corporation. The trial court granted the motion. Dill appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (McKinster, J.)

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