On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision clarifying the circumstances in which a lawsuit “arises out of” or “relates to” a corporation’s contacts with a particular jurisdiction, such that it can be sued there. In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, writing for an 8-1 majority, Justice Alito held that California state courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the product liability claims of non-California residents against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., a foreign corporation. The Court reasoned that the nonresident plaintiffs “do not claim to have suffered harm in that state” from their use of BMS’ drug Plavix, and “all the conduct giving rise to the nonresidents’ claims occurred elsewhere.” The Supreme Court found insufficient BMS’ substantial sales in California, including through its use of 250 sales representatives in that state.
Rebecca Baden Chaney is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice includes a wide-range of product liability litigation and product regulatory counseling matters. She has particular experience representing clients facing claims related to the provision of allegedly defective products. In addition, Rebecca advises clients on a full range of product liability and risk management issues from both the pre-launch and post-launch perspectives. Her regulatory counseling practice focuses primarily on consumer products regulated by the CPSC, as well as automotive parts regulated by NHTSA. In addition, her practice includes white collar defense work, focusing on representing clients before the SEC.
Last month, our colleague Joshua Foust analyzed the then-newly introduced Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017. The bill, sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), amends procedures used in federal court class action and mass tort litigation. Last week, on March 9, just one month after Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the bill, the full House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 220-201. The legislation will now be considered by the Senate.
Now that the bill has passed the House, we have drafted an alert providing additional analysis. Click here to read the alert on Crowell.com or read below.
The U.S. House Sets Out To Reform Class and Mass Actions
Join Us for a Webinar – Thursday, March 30, 2017 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Aggressive enforcement, massive recalls and proactive safety agendas left an indelible impression on the product safety world under the Obama administration. Product safety is no longer a bipartisan affair. But what will the Trump administration mean for your regulatory compliance programs? What changes will we see and how will they affect your safety program?
Join us for a roundtable discussion of what the regulated community can expect under the new administration at the Food & Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Safety Administration. We’ll help you to forecast where policy shifts on by focusing on topical discussions of emerging products such as autonomous cars, drones, miniaturized cameras and e-cigarettes, and emerging issues including fire and lithium ion batteries, as well as hacking concerns on interconnected products.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) just announced a giant leap forward in its effort to protect U.S. consumers against defective products manufactured in China. To combat the increasing frequency with which hazardous Chinese consumer products enter the United States, on January 10, 2011, the CPSC opened an office in China. The CPSC hopes that this new office will promote more effective communication with its Chinese counterpart – the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (“AQSIQ”) – allowing the CPSC to adopt a proactive approach to product safety with respect to Chinese imports. The agency’s proactive and preventative approach to product safety should also benefit U.S.-based retailers who often bear the expense of recalling defective products that originate in China, yet are left without recourse against the products’ Chinese manufacturers.