Jurisdiction -- 2018

Align Corp. v. Boustred   (U.S. Supreme Court)

Judicial jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants

This case involves the fundamental question of whether a manufacturer may be sued in a state in which the manufacturer has no operations or business presence. Align Corp. is a Taiwanese manufacturer of toy helicopters. It has no physical presence or operations in the United States. Align sells its toys to a U.S.-based distributor which then sells the toys to retailers throughout the United States. A Colorado man who purchased one of the toy helicopters sued Align for damages when a rotor blade allegedly detached from the toy and struck the man's eye. Align moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the Colorado state court did not have jurisdiction over Align. Both a Colorado trial court and the Colorado Supreme Court found jurisdiction over Align because the company sold its products to a distributor who Align knew would sell the toys in Colorado.

Align petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The NAM filed a coalition amicus brief in support of the petition. In our brief, the NAM argues that the legal questions have importance for not only foreign corporations, but for domestic manufacturers as well (such as those that might only sell products in a particular state or region and should not be sued in far-flung jurisdictions just because their product somehow made its way there). The NAM also argued that the legal test articulated by the Colorado Supreme Court is wrong and would impose significant uncertainty on manufacturers.

On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.

Related Documents:
NAM brief  (April 2, 2018)


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