From our private database of 12,700+ case briefs...
Ferens v. John Deere Co.
United States Supreme Court
494 U.S. 516 (1990)
Albert Ferens (plaintiff) lost his right hand after it became caught in a combine harvester manufactured by John Deere Co. (Deere) (defendant), a Delaware corporation. The accident occurred in Pennsylvania. After Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations expired, Ferens and his wife (plaintiff), both Pennsylvania residents, sued for warranty and contract claims in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania under diversity jurisdiction. Pennsylvania's statutes of limitations had not run for those claims. Ferens then sued for negligence and products liability in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The Mississippi borrowing statue, as interpreted by the Mississippi Supreme Court, permitted the Ferenses to apply Pennsylvania negligence and products liability law but use the Mississippi statute of limitations, which had not yet run. Under that court's interpretation, the borrowing statute did not apply Pennsylvania's statute of limitations, because Deere was a Mississippi resident when the cause of action arose. Shortly after the Mississippi suit was filed, the Ferenses moved to transfer the case to the Western District of Pennsylvania under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The Mississippi court, finding that the Pennsylvania court would be more convenient for the parties, granted the transfer. Upon transfer, the case was consolidated with Ferenses’ other case before the Western District of Pennsylvania. The court then applied the Pennsylvania statute of limitations and dismissed the Ferenses’ tort actions. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed on the ground that applying Mississippi's statute of limitations violated due process, and the United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded. The court of appeals then affirmed on the ground that the transferor court's choice-of-law rules are inapplicable where the plaintiff moves for the transfer. The Ferenses petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari, which was granted.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 120,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 12,700 briefs, keyed to 172 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.