Legal Memorandum: Definition of the Term "Arising From"

Issue: How do courts construe the term ‘arising from’?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Definition of the term 'arising from'; Proximate cause
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 791 So. 2d 4
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2007

The phrase “arising from” has frequently been construed by the courts in various contexts.  Generally, it is interpreted to mean that there is a substantial nexus or a causal connection between the two events listed; that is, that the first event listed was proximately caused by the second event.  Chedid v. Boardwalk Regency Corp., 756 F. Supp. 941, 943 (E.D. Va. 1991).  The Chedid court’s observation about the plain meaning of the phrase is instructive.  In the course of construing the phrase as part of a long-arm statute, the court noted:

Resolving this question requires construing the phrase “arising from.”  Plain meaning is the starting point in the analysis, and “caused by” is the phrase’s plain meaning.  Thus, it is evident that Virginia’s General Assembly used the phrase “arising from” to require that there be a causal link between the acts relied on for personal jurisdiction and the cause of action asserted.  Significantly, courts agree that this causation element requires more than simple “but-for” causation; it requires something akin to legal or proximate causation.


756 F. Supp. at 943.  See also Pizarro v. Hoteles Concorde Int’l, C.A., 907 F.2d 1256, 1259 (1st Cir. 1990) (“Whether certain events ‘arise out of’ a nonresident defendant’s actions within Puerto Rico is comparable or analogous to whether certain actions can be said to be the legal, or proximate cause of injuries suffered by plaintiff.”); Glovegold Shipping, Ltd. v. Sveriges Angfartygs Assurans Forening, 791 […]

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