Smith Kline & French Laboratories Ltd. v. Bloch

2 All E.R. 72 (1983)

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Smith Kline & French Laboratories Ltd. v. Bloch

England and Wales Court of Appeal
2 All E.R. 72 (1983)

  • Written by Elizabeth Yingling, JD

Facts

Dr. Maurice Bloch (defendant), a resident of England, entered into a contract with Smith Kline & French Laboratories Ltd (SK&F), an English company, to develop compounds to treat stomach disorders. English law governed the contract. After SK&F conducted field trials on the compounds, SK&F notified Bloch that the results were disappointing and terminated the relationship. SK&F was responsible for all decisions relating to registration and marketing of products in the United Kingdom. Bloch sued SK&F and its American parent company (plaintiffs) in the United States, alleging breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, tortious interference with a contract by the parent company, and emotional distress, and sought $160 million in damages. Bloch claimed that SK&F and its parent intended to keep Bloch’s product off the market so that it would not compete with another SK&F product. Bloch admitted that he sued in an American court because his lawyers took the case for a contingency fee and it would cost him substantially more money to sue in an English court. Most of the witnesses in the case were English residents. Over the objections of SK&F and its parent, the American court allowed Bloch’s suit to proceed. SK&F and its American parent sued in an English court to enjoin Bloch from proceeding in the United States.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Denning, J.)

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