October 24, 2018 Articles

How Plaintiffs Can Adjust to the Supreme Court Decision on Jurisdiction in BMS

By Paul D. Rheingold, assisted by Camila Lopez

From the plaintiffs’ perspective, the Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017) (BMS), was potentially disruptive of long-standing practices of selecting jurisdictions for filing mass tort drug and device (and other) suits. Barred as a viable jurisdiction is a state where neither the plaintiff resides nor where the defendant is “at home” (incorporated or principal place of business), unless the defendant has an “affiliation” with the state as to the cause of action, to use the term the Supreme Court used. Id. at 1780.

But our bar is adaptive to changes in the rules, and so the purpose of this article is explore ways to live with it or even take advantage of it.

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