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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Raynolfo Trevino was killed in a trucking accident on July 13, 1999, in Floyd County, Ken., during the course of his employment with Schlumberger Technology Corp., a Texas company. Schlumberger had contracted with a West Virginia company called Equitable Production Co. to perform well services. At the time, Equitable’s headquarters were in Houston, though a few months after the accident, Equitable merged its operations with another company and moved its headquarters in April 2000 to Alexandria, Va., and then to Pittsburgh. Trevino’s widow filed suit against Equitable and others on July 7, 2000, in Jim Wells County, where she and Trevino lived, and where he was hired by Schlumberger. Between April and July 2000, Equitable’s only contacts with Texas was its continued relationship with Schlumberger and its one employee in the old Houston office whose job was to help with the accounting transition to Equitable’s new offices. Equitable filed a special appearance, arguing it did not have the necessary minimum contacts to support jurisdiction in Texas. The court rejected the appearance, finding specific and general jurisdiction over Equitable, and filed extensive findings of fact and conclusions of law. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court agrees with Equitable that specific jurisdiction was improper, but the exercise of general jurisdiction is suitable. As for specific jurisdiction, the widow’s claims against Equitable do not arise from or relate to Equitable’s contacts with Texas. Merely contracting with a Texas company does not establish minimum contacts. Trevino’s widow would also have to prove that her claims against Equitable arise from or relate to the execution of the agreement; however, the widow’s claims are grounded in various negligence at the worksite. Turning to the issue of general jurisdiction, the court finds that Equitable’s contacts with Texas had been continuous and systematic, despite the fact that Equitable stopped doing business in Texas prior to the suit’s filing. Despite Equitable’s contention otherwise, the court points out that its contacts with Texas were continuous, as evidenced by the continuous presence of the employee to facilitate the transition. The court rejects Equitable’s reliance on Leonard v. USA Petroleum Corp., 829 F.Supp. 882 (S.D. Tex. 1993). Equitable claims the case stands for the proposition that relocation to another state, by definition, ends a company’s contacts with its former home state. The court is not convinced the Leonard court even reached the precise issue on which Equitable relies. Instead, the court looks to several federal and statewide cases to determine how they handle the issue of relocation. The ones that have held that relocation severed the ties did not have to deal with an element present here, and that is that the companies in those cases did not retain an employee in the home state after the relocation. Though acknowledging that relocation comes very close to severing the contacts with its home state, the court ultimately decides that “Equitable’s relocation of its corporate offices from Houston, Texas to Alexandria, Virginia three months before suit was filed is but one factor to consider in determining whether Equitable’s contacts with Texas were sufficiently”continuous and systematic’ to support the trial court’s assertion of general jurisdiction.” The court then reviews the rest of the contacts Equitable had with Texas, starting with Equitable’s locating its corporate operations in Houston in 1986, and going through its designation of an agent for service of process, application to do business under an assumed name in 1989, listing in the phone book, leasing storage space and its business with other Texas companies, among other things. Under these circumstances, Equitable’s contacts were sufficiently continuous and systematic. The court also finds that exercise of general jurisdiction would not interfere with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Equitable’s burden is no greater now than it was three months before suit was filed when it was still located in Houston. The only other real choice of a forum is Kentucky, which would not be any less burdensome. OPINION:Duncan, J.; Stone, Green, Justice and Duncan, JJ.

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