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SCOTUS Addresses Personal Jurisdiction in Products Liability Lawsuits

Ford Motor Company can be required to face a product liability suit in a state where the plaintiff, a resident of the state, was injured even though the vehicle involved in the crash was not manufactured or originally sold in the state.

Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District and Ford Motor Co. v. Bandemer were consolidated in a March 25, 2021 opinion by the SCOTUS.

The 8-0 opinion of the court found that Ford had the requisite minimum contacts with the forum states even though the vehicles involved were not manufactured or sold there.  Instead, the court found that Ford’s advertising, marketing, servicing, selling, etc. activities in the state where the wreck occurred were sufficient to permit it to be sued in the state.

Justice Kagan wrote the opinion.  Two concurring opinions were also filed.   Justice Barrett did not participate in the decision.

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