February 25, 2020 Articles

Does Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court Apply to Class Actions?

The key arguments all plaintiff’s counsel should be making to oppose application of BMS to their class actions.

By Jordan Elias and Adam E. Polk

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County (BMS), 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017), sent shock waves through the class action bar, leading defendants to contest personal jurisdiction in numerous cases by arguing that unnamed class members have no connection to their putative representatives’ chosen forum.

With federal appeals courts poised to decide the applicability of BMS in the class action setting, it is a good time to reckon with the following questions now facing judges and practitioners: Does BMS apply to the claims of absent class members? Why or why not?

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