Washington Legal Foundation

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 ruling has led many courts to dismiss nationwide class actions filed against non-resident defendants, and those decisions that have rejected defendants’ jurisdiction arguments are fundamentally flawed outliers.

Authors: James M. Beck

Not quite four years ago, shortly after Daimler AG v. Bauman,1 was decided, this writer predicted that the jurisdictional principles being enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court had implications for the maintenance of nationwide class actions under state law:

In most nationwide class actions, the claims of most class members will not arise in the forum state. Procedural rules allowing class actions cannot expand substantive law, including the law of personal jurisdiction. Thus, most of the claims in a nationwide class action, unless brought in a jurisdiction where all corporate defendants are ‘at home,’ should be subject to dismissal on jurisdictional grounds after Bauman— unless the claims are brought under some federal statute that relaxes jurisdictional requirements (such as by aggregating nationwide contacts).2

To read the full publication, please visit wlf.org.