Bristol-Myers Squibb: A Dangerous Sword

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that has the potential to reshape the way class actions are litigated in courts throughout the country. In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California,[1] or BMS, the court clarified the scope of specific personal jurisdiction in the context of a mass tort action brought in California state court. Since that decision, some defendants have attempted to use BMS as a sword in response to putative nationwide class actions, with varying levels of success. No circuit court has yet to weigh in on the question of whether BMS applies in the class action context. But even if courts begin to consistently dismiss putative nationwide classes on BMS grounds, filing a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction may not always be the best strategic and business decision for defendants.

Please see our full article as published in Law360.