Two 13-year-old boys from North Carolina, Julian Brown and Matthew Helms, were killed in a bus accident outside Paris, France. The boys’ parents (plaintiffs) filed a wrongful-death suit in North Carolina state court against The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (Goodyear USA), an Ohio corporation, and three of its subsidiaries organized and operating exclusively in Turkey, France, and Luxembourg (subsidiaries) (defendants). The parents alleged that a defective tire manufactured in Goodyear's Turkey plant was the cause of the accident. Although Goodyear USA regularly conducted business in North Carolina and agreed to submit to the court’s jurisdiction, its subsidiaries did not. The subsidiaries argued that the state court lacked jurisdiction over them and filed a motion in the trial court to dismiss the claims. The trial court denied the motion, and the subsidiaries appealed. The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.