The Supreme Court this week put limits on where injuries lawsuits can be fired, siding with businesses to prevent plaintiffs from “shopping” for friendly courts.
The justices overturned a lower court’s decision that had allowed out-of-state patients who took Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Plavix blood-thinning medication to file a suit against the company in California.
Under the justice’s ruling, state courts cannot hear claims against companies that are not based in the state where the injuries occurred. The Supreme Court arrived at a similar conclusion in a separate case in May 30.
Businesses can typically be sued in a state where they are headquartered or incorporated, as well as in states where they have important ties. Companies are looking to limit plaintiff’s ability to shop for courts in states with laws conducive to injury suits.
Plaintiffs contend that corporations are looking to limit access to compensation for injuries by denying them time in court.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she expected the ruling would make it more difficult to consolidate lawsuits against corporations in state courts, and could lead to unfairness for individual injury plaintiffs.
Material from Reuters was used in this report