How do I go about submitting a claim against a corporation with no registered agent in my state?

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How do I go about submitting a claim against a corporation with no registered agent in my state?

I purchased a pair of shoes made by a popular brand sold nationally from a
major retailer and suffered severe chemical burns to my skin caused by the
shoe. I know this for sure because I threw away one pair thinking I had
somehow got it contaminated, purchased another and the exact same skin
condition happened. I went to my county clerk to file a claim against the shoe
company only to find out that they have no registered agent in my state and
withdrew years ago. I have located their registered agent in another state DE,
of course but know that there is no jurisdiction to guarantee that the company
responds if I submit the claim in my home state TN. How do I go about
pursuing this? Will I need to file the claim in the state where the business is
located? Can I even do that if I am not a resident and the injury did not
happen there?

Asked on July 5, 2017 under Personal Injury, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they don't voluntarily offer you compensation, your only recourse is to file a lawsuit. You could absolutely sue them in the state in which they are organized or registered; if they regularly sell in your state, you can most likely file the lawsuit in your own courts, since regular and predictable economic contacts are usually enough to confer "long-arm" "personal jurisdiction" over a business (basically, if you intentionally take advantage of selling/making money in a state, the trade-off is you subject yourself to that state's court's jurisdiction)--though even if you can file in your state, you'd have to serve the legal papers on them where they are located, which can be modestly expensive.
Filing and bringing a lawsuit is no trivial matter; even if you are your own attorney, there are some expenses (like service of the papers) you have to bear yourself, and you will spend hours, possibly days, on this. Think carefully about whether it is worth doing this. (And if you hire your own attorney, you have to pay for your own lawyer--the other side does not pay--meaning that it's only worthwhile if you could legitimately sue for $10,000 or more dollars in most cases).


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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