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Daimler AG v. Bauman

United States Supreme Court
134 S.Ct. 746 (2014)


Bauman, et al. (plaintiffs), residents of Argentina, brought suit against DaimlerChrysler AG (Daimler) (defendant) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (District Court), alleging that Mercedes-Benz Argentina (MBA), a Daimler subsidiary, “collaborated with [Argentinian] state security forces to kidnap, detain, torture, and kill certain MBA workers, among them, plaintiffs or persons closely related to plaintiffs” during an Argentinian war. Daimler was a German company. The plaintiffs based their claim of the District Court’s jurisdiction on Daimler’s subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA), which was incorporated in Delaware and had its principal place of business in New Jersey. MBUSA distributed Daimler cars to California, and had various facilities and offices in California. MBA’s alleged acts took part solely outside of California and the United States. Daimler filed a motion to dismiss the claims based on lack of personal jurisdiction. The District Court granted the motion. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

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