One-Two, The Court Backs International ShoeClore Law ·
The owner of a small Florida farm might sell crops to a large nearby distributor, for example, who might then distribute them to grocers across the country. If foreseeability were the controlling criterion, the farmer could be sued in Alaska or any number of other States' courts without ever leaving town. And the issue of foreseeability may itself be contested so that significant expenses are incurred just on the preliminary issue of jurisdiction. Jurisdictional rules should avoid these costs whenever possible.Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, agreed the case should be reversed but said Kennedy went too far in overturning the "stream of commerce" concept in Asahi. Perhaps mindful of the implications for Internet commerce, he said:
Because the incident at issue in this case does not implicate modern concerns, and because the factual record leaves many open questions, this is an unsuitable vehicle for making broad pronouncements that refashion basic jurisdictional rules.Ginsburg, joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, split with the majority and held there were sufficient contacts between the machinery company and New Jersey to let the suit proceed. The British company had a U.S. subsidiary and attended trade meetings in the U.S., Ginsburg said. Under state "long-arm" statutes giving states the power to hear cases over acts that may have occurred outside their borders she said, the company met the test of being subject to a lawsuit in New Jersey. Yet:
âÃÂ¶six Justices of this Court, in divergent opinions, tell us that the manufacturer has avoided the jurisdiction of our state courts, except perhaps in States where its products are sold in sizeable quantities. Inconceivable as it may have seemed yesterday, the splintered majority today "turn[s] the clock back to the days before modern long-arm statutes when a manufacturer, to avoid being haled into court where a user is injured, need only Pilate-like wash its hands of a product by having independent distributors market it."Taken together, the decisions strengthen protections against U.S. lawsuits against purely foreign entities. The American Association for Justice, nee American Trial Lawyers Association, warned that these decisions mean consumers will be exposed to dangerous products without necessarily being able to sue over them. In a statement, AAJ President Gibson Vance advocated passage of a bill pending in Congress that would require foreign manufacturers to designate a U.S. agent to accept service should they be sued here.
Simply put, foreign companies that market and sell their products in our country should not be able to evade accountability. In our global marketplace, this decision will allow foreign manufacturers to sell their products without adhering to our safety standards.The AAJ now has a list of Supreme Court decisions it wants Congress to reverse. Last year, the court ruled out so-called "foreign cubed" lawsuits by overseas plaintiffs complaining of securities fraud by overseas companies. And earlier this year, it upheld the corporate firewall between Janus Capital Group and a mutual fund it advised. Definitely a good time to be a corporate lawyer drawing up litigation-proof structures to hold foreign assets. Article from [url=https://blogs.forbes.com/danielfisher/]https://blogs.forbes.com/danielfisher/[/url]
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