U.S. SUPREME COURT NARROWS SPECIFIC JURISDICTION IN PRODUCTS LIABILITY ACTIONS

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, 582 U.S. ___ (2017) (slip op.).

On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, holding that non-residents of California could not sue Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (“BMS”) in California state court for injuries allegedly suffered elsewhere due to the use of the pharmaceutical company’s drug Plavix.

The Court held that there was no specific jurisdiction in California state court because there was no connection between the alleged injuries and California. The Court noted that general jurisdiction over BMS could have been exercised by courts in Delaware, its place of incorporation, or in New York, its principal place of business.

Smith, Katzenstein & Jenkins LLP has defended products liability claims for many years.  Bob Katzenstein is a Sustaining Member of the Product Liability Advisory council, a group of invitation-only defense counsel with deep experience in complex litigation matters.