Fontana v. Hugo International, Inc.

781 So. 2d 433 (2001)

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Fontana v. Hugo International, Inc.

Florida District Court of Appeal
781 So. 2d 433 (2001)

Facts

Edward and Brian Fontana (plaintiffs) were sale agents for Hugo International, Inc. (Hugo) (defendant), a nationwide shoe wholesaler headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The Fontanas resided in Pinellas County, Florida. While employed by Hugo, the Fontanas travelled to California and entered into an employment agreement with Hugo’s competitor, Sideout Shoe Company (Sideout). The Fontanas then disclosed Hugo’s confidential commercial information to Sideout and convinced Hugo’s exclusive shoe supplier to supply shoes to Sideout instead of to Hugo. The Fontanas’ actions in California caused financial injury to Hugo. Hugo sued the Fontanas in Miami-Dade County for tortious interference with Hugo’s business relationship with the shoe supplier. The Fontanas filed a motion to dismiss or to transfer Hugo’s action based on improper venue, arguing that, because the alleged tortious acts occurred in California, the only proper Florida venue was Pinellas County, where the Fontanas resided. Hugo challenged, arguing that venue was proper in Miami-Dade County because the financial impacts of the Fontanas’ tortious conduct was felt at Hugo’s Miami-Dade headquarters. The trial court denied the Fontanas’ motion. The Fontanas appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cope, J.)

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