The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reversed a lower-court decision on class action lawsuits, ruling that hundreds of people that sued a pharmaceutical company located in California could not sue in that state because they were not residents of California.
In the suit brought against Bristol-Myers Squibb over injuries associated with the blood-thinning drug Plavix, the court said that despite the fact that California and non-California residents sustained the same injuries, non-residents were not prescribed the drug in California, did not purchase or ingest the drug in California and were not injured in California, therefore the state of California has no jurisdiction over the non residents’ claims.
The judges’ decision rejects the standard of where plaintiffs can sue making it more difficult to “aggregate the claims of plaintiffs across the country whose claims may be worth little alone” according to dissenters . It will result in piecemeal litigation and bifurcations of claims that many see as unnecessary.
Moving forward, questions remain on how much of a connection there must be between a claim and the place where the lawsuit is filed and, also, whether class actions will be limited to courts where jurisdiction can be established for every class member.
Of course, class action lawsuits are among the most complicated legal actions undertaken in the justice system. Questions of jurisdiction, liability, cause and compensation all multiply exponentially as defendants, plaintiffs and legal issues are added to the claim.
Contact an Experienced Iowa Class Action Lawsuit Lawyer
Des Moines, Iowa attorney Bruce Stoltze has successfully handled complex class action lawsuits in the state for over two decades, helping many Iowans in the process. If you have questions regarding filing a class action lawsuit about a service, product, municipal policy or other concern, contact our Des Moines, Iowa class action lawyers at 515-244-1473 for help today.
Source: Washington Post. “Supreme Court tightens rules on class-action lawsuits”, by Thomas Heath, June 19, 2017