Piper Aircraft v. Reyno
United States Supreme Court
454 U.S. 235 (1981)
In 1976, a small commercial aircraft crashed in Scotland, killing the pilot and five passengers. The deceased were all Scottish citizens and residents. The plane was manufactured in Pennsylvania by Piper (defendant), and the propellers were manufactured in Ohio by Hartzell (defendant). Reyno (plaintiff), the administratrix of the estates of the five passengers, filed wrongful death actions against Piper and Hartzell in California state court, alleging negligence and strict liability. Reyno admitted to filing the action in the United States because its laws were more favorable to her case than those of Scotland. Piper and Hartzell removed to federal district court in California and then sought a transfer to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The California district court granted these motions. After both cases were moved to federal district court in Pennsylvania, Piper and Hartzell sought to dismiss the case on grounds of forum non conveniens. The Pennsylvania district court granted the motions, citing the discretion courts have to dismiss a case when an alternative forum has jurisdiction to hear the case, and when trial in the chosen forum would be burdensome to the defendant. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed on the ground that dismissal for forum non conveniens is not appropriate where the law of the alternative forum is less favorable to the plaintiff. Piper and Hartzell appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, 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 159,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,700 briefs, keyed to 186 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.