Napoli Shkolnik Featured for Bristol Myers Litigation

As was reported by Tony Mauro of the NYLJ and Ben Hancock of The Recorder, personal jurisdiction cases are a hot issue right now, with four cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the Bristol-Myers case, the California Supreme Court ruled that both in-state and out-of-state plaintiffs could sue the pharmaceutical company in California for injuries and deaths caused by Plavix, the blood-thinning drug.

The California Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Anderson disappointed defense attorneys who thought it would go the other way and finally limit California’s pull as a friendly venue for mass tort claims.

The company had sought to exclude non-California plaintiffs from the litigation, but a majority of justices ruled that California courts had “specific jurisdiction” because Bristol-Myers conducted significant research, sales and marketing within the state. “We conclude the company’s California activities are sufficiently related to the nonresident plaintiffs’ suits.”