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Today’s case, Ganz v. Grifols Therapeutics LLC, 2023 WL 5437356 (S.D. Fla. 2023), involves a biologic but also speaks to drugs and medical devices. The mixed decision dismisses design-defect and failure-to warn claims but allows manufacturing-defect and failure-to-recall claims to proceed. Although we’ll briefly summarize those rulings, the decision is more interesting for noting

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Once again this week we turn to the aridities of personal jurisdiction.  Or is that perhaps a bit … harsh?  After all, last week personal jurisdiction had a rare moment in the public spotlight as a result of SCOTUS oral arguments in a case involving the law of Pennsylvania — our usually-fair-but-not-so-much-in-this-case Commonwealth.  The issue was whether Pennsylvania could condition a corporation’s right to do business in the Keystone State on that corporation’s consent to personal jurisdiction in our overly exciting court system. We’ve written about this consent theory before, and we previewed the SCOTUS case here. If Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions can get away with it, then the Bauman and BMS SCOTUS personal jurisdiction decisions become something very near to dead letters.  It seems that several of the Justices last week thought as much, as their questions evinced deep skepticism about this bogus jurisdiction-via-consent  scheme.  You’ve heard of long-arm jurisdiction statutes, right?  These are strong-arm jurisdiction statutes.  

But predicting SCOTUS rulings is a sucker’s game. 

Meanwhile, press coverage of the SCOTUS arguments was predictably daft. Some commentators bemoaned how rejection by SCOTUS of jurisdictional consent via coercive business registration statutes might make it harder to sue corporations. That is utterly wrong. One can sue the corporation where it is incorporated or headquartered, or where the the events at issue happened. What is unfair about that?  The only real losers would be plaintiff lawyers who apparently think there is a need and a right to sue companies where the plaintiff lawyers are located.  Nothing propinks like propinquity. But no one should shed any tears for lazy and/or cynical forum shopping.

Today’s case, Armstrong v. Atrium Med. Corp., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195231 (E.D. Wash. Oct. 26, 2022), involves a more quotidian personal jurisdiction issue: can a product liability plaintiff drag a foreign parent company into court?  We’ve written about this issue before (here, for example).  Including a corporate parent in a lawsuit can be a nice bit of leverage for a plaintiff.  It is an annoyance. It is unnecessary. Fortunately, courts usually do not smile upon it. 


Continue Reading E.D. Wash. Finds No Personal Jurisdiction Over Swedish Parent Company

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We have long thought that “direct filing” procedures in multidistrict litigation were a solution in search of a problem.  We also think direct filing procedures in MDLs pose significant waiver risks without a corresponding upside.  Alas, our inclinations were confirmed recently when the Seventh Circuit ruled that a mass tort defendant’s acquiescence to complaints filed

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Last July, Bexis blogged about two inconsistent personal jurisdiction rulings in talc litigation. Those rulings created a personal jurisdiction split between a Missouri court and the talc MDL court on whether non-Missouri plaintiffs could sue a non-Missouri defendant in Missouri even if those plaintiffs did not use the product or suffer an injury in