Daimler AG v. Bauman: New Supreme Court Decision Offers Important Protections Against Forum-Shopping
The U.S. Supreme Court's January 14, 2014 opinion in Daimler AG v. Bauman sharply limits plaintiffs' ability to bring suit in forums unconnected to the events at issue in a lawsuit. Foreign defendants often raise personal jurisdiction challenges to resist jurisdiction in U.S. courts, and Bauman will offer important ammunition to defendants in those battles. But Bauman's significance is far broader. It announced due process principles that similarly protect domestic defendants from plaintiffs' shopping for their favored state court jurisdictions. In particular, plaintiffs in mass tort product liability litigation frequently attempt to create nationwide centers of litigation in state courts that they deem favorable -- even when the vast majority of the plaintiffs live outside the state. Bauman could put a stop to that tactic.