Daily Journal Seeks Matthew McNicholas’ Insight on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Determining California Court’s Lack of Jurisdiction in Out-Of-State Pharmaceutical Claims
In the Daily Journal article “U.S. Supreme Court limits state courts’ jurisdiction over out-of-state plaintiffs in pharmaceutical case,” Partner Matthew McNicholas discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court, determining California courts’ lack of jurisdiction to handle out-of-state claims.
In this case, the court held that non-California residents who had used the blood-thinner Plavix and suffered adverse reactions could not join in the state lawsuit because of a lack of connection to the forum.
“The decision is really bad for people who don’t live in states like California,” said Matt. “We have strong pro-consumer laws, particularly consumer liability laws. Many states don’t. You now create a situation where these plaintiffs are left in the cold.”
Matt also noted that determining that the court’s opinion was “parsing the fine hair” by determining that the courts lacked personal jurisdiction because the non-California plaintiffs did not watch commercials for Plavix or consume the drug in California.
“[Bristol-Myers] has a national strategy that applies to the whole country,” Matt added. “But the decision says now you’re stuck in your own state even though the company’s conduct is the same.”