The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case concerning the reach of a Pennsylvania law after a former railroad worker requested the state’s courts hold a company responsible for his colon cancer. Should the justices decide a state can exert jurisdiction over companies registered to do business there, it would be a ruling that “could have a seismic impact on corporate litigation,” according to Dan Bromberg, Pillsbury’s Appellate practice leader.
"If the court were to permit states to exercise personal jurisdiction over out-of-state corporations based on consent to operate in the state, it would turn the trend of the last decade on its head and force corporations to completely rethink their litigation strategies," Bromberg told Law360.
"What is intriguing here is that some of the conservatives on the Supreme Court have expressed dissatisfaction with the protection afforded corporations under the court's personal jurisdiction jurisprudence," he continues. "As a consequence, this is one of those increasingly rare cases in which it is hard to predict what coalition of justices will form the majority, and the outcome is truly up in the air."