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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Addresses Doctrine of Personal Jurisdiction in Product Liability Cases - Litigation News

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Litigation News


Posted on: Apr 9, 2021

Shared by Tim Devereux, Wagner Reese LLP

On March 25, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ford Motor Company v. Montana Eighth Judicial District in which the court unanimously ruled that state courts could exercise personal jurisdiction over the automobile manufacturer in states where the lived and where the accidents and injuries occurred.

Despite conceding that it has purposefully availed itself of individual state markets, Ford attempted to argue that a state court could only exercise personal jurisdictiononly in those situations where there was a direct causal connection between the manufacturer’s conduct within the state and the claimed injuries.

The Supreme Court declined to extend its ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., San Francisco Cty and seemed to question the validity of a rule that would require injured plaintiffs to abandon their home state and, instead, travel to the state where the vehicle was initially bought or manufactured in order to obtain jurisdiction over the defendant manufacturer.

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