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Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court

United States Supreme Court
137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017)


Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court

Facts

The plaintiffs, residents of California and 33 other states, brought suit against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) (defendant) in California Superior Court. The plaintiffs asserted a number of claims, alleging that Plavix, a drug BMS manufactured, injured them. BMS was a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in New York. Plavix was not designed, developed, or manufactured in California. Further, the plaintiffs residing outside of California did not buy or take Plavix in California. BMS moved to quash service of summons on those plaintiffs who were not California residents. The superior court denied the motion. The California Court of Appeal held that California courts had specific jurisdiction over the nonresidents’ claims. The California Supreme Court affirmed, finding specific jurisdiction because the claims and injuries of the resident plaintiffs were identical to those of the nonresident plaintiffs. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alito, J.)

Dissent (Sotomayor, J.)

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Questions & Answers


Would it have been a better/possible strategy to sue in a federal court?

Incoming 1L so this may be a stupid question. I was totally on board with Alito's opinion but Sotomayor got me thinking.

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