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April 25, 2017

Supreme Court Has Opportunity to “Upend” Trial Lawyer Litigation Tourism, A Direct “Violation of Federalism and Due Process”

Today, in Bristol Meyers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether some 600 plaintiffs who live outside California can sue Bristol Meyers Squibb, a New York based company, in California for alleged injuries related to the drug Plavix.

In 2016, the California Supreme Court, “in willful disregard of the U.S. Supreme Court, said the state had jurisdiction” over the Plavix lawsuits even through the alleged injuries didn’t occur in the state because the company “did a lot of business” in California.

“By that standard nearly any business could sue in California,” writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Allowing a lawsuit with such a “tenuous connection to the state would extend jurisdiction over liability claims “well beyond [California’s] legitimate regulatory interest,” said Justice Kathryn Werdegar in dissent. 

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