The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared poised to clamp down on where corporations can be sued, a potential setback for plaintiffs’ lawyers who strive to bring cases in courts and locales they consider friendly.
The nine justices in two separate cases heard appeals of lower court rulings allowing out-of-state injury lawsuits against drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and BNSF Railway Co.
Companies and plaintiffs are engaged in a fight over where lawsuits seeking financial compensation for injuries should be filed. Companies typically can be sued in a state where they are headquartered or incorporated, as well as where they have significant ties. They want to curtail plaintiffs’ ability to “shop” for courts in states with laws conducive to such lawsuits.
Bristol-Myers was appealing a California Supreme Court ruling allowing that state’s courts to hear claims related to its blood-thinning medication Plavix even though most plaintiffs do not live in