Personal Jurisdiction: Missouri District Court Dismisses Out-Of-State Plaintiffs' Claims For Lack Of Personal Jurisdiction

Author:Mr Kenneth Chernof, John D. Lombardo, Daphne Morduchowitz, Andrew K. Solow, David J. Weiner, Caitlin M. Annatoyn, Paul Beavers, Tiffany M. Ikeda, Michael E. Kientzle and Colleen S. Lima
Profession:Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

In one of the first district court decisions to apply Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017) (BMS), the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri dismissed the claims of all but one non-Missouri plaintiffs for lack of personal jurisdiction. Ninety-four plaintiffs brought the product liability lawsuit, Jordan v. Bayer Corp., No. 4:17-cv-865, in January 2017, claiming they had been harmed by using Essure, a permanent birth control device made and sold by the defendants. Seven of the plaintiffs were citizens of Missouri; the remaining eighty-seven were citizens of other states.

It was undisputed that the Court could not exercise general jurisdiction over the defendants, as none of them were incorporated, had their principal place of business, or had "such substantial and extensive contacts such that they are essentially 'at home' in Missouri." Hence, the jurisdictional issue turned on whether the Court could exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the nonresident plaintiffs' claims.

Relying on the Supreme Court's recent decision in BMS, the Court ruled that there was no personal jurisdiction with...

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