Foreign Manufacturers And State Jurisdiction

Law360, New York (January 10, 2011, 2:12 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is presently considering two cases (Nos. 09-1343, 10-76) that should clarify when courts in the various states may exercise jurisdiction over product-liability claims against foreign manufacturers who have no presence, and engage in no direct activity, in those states. U.S. law has been cloudy on this issue since 1987, when the U.S. Supreme Court’s justices failed to reach a consensus. Asahi Metal Industry Co. Ltd. v. Superior Court of California, 480 U.S. 102 (1987).

Current Legal Confusion

In Asahi, one group of...
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