News/Columns

Access to Plaintiff-Friendly Jurisdictions Constrained in 'Game-Changing' SCOTUS Ruling

, The National Law Journal

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Monday's landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in "Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California" has already had a massive impact. In mere hours, a judge in Missouri granted a motion for mistrial in a pivotal trial over Johnson & Johnson's baby powder due to the court's decision. Even plaintiffs lawyers concede that "Bristol-Myers" took a hatchet to a lucrative growth area in mass torts: Lawsuits brought on behalf of dozens of individuals in venues considered more favorable to plaintiffs.

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What's being said

  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    With all due respect to reporter Amanda Bronstad and very capable attorneys Andrew Pincus and Hunter Shkolnick; but they‘re overthinking this decision. Amy Rubenstein reads it more clearly. Importantly, any plaintiff can still file a suit in their nearby county courthouse. And if plaintiffs‘ lawyers are as altruistically committed to winning justice for the proverbial little guy as they would have us believe, they‘ll innovate, find new efficiencies and establish cooperative means by which to share significant information about various products unearthed in respective discovery efforts. Meanwhile, lawyers‘ convenience and earnings will take a back seat to due process as state courts are reversed if they let out-of-state plaintiffs sue out-of-state defendants for out-of-state injuries. It‘s no more complicated than that.

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