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California Connections Matter in Products Liability Cases

Tuesday, February 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you follow legal news, you may have heard about a big case decided by the California Supreme Court last year, Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Anderson. The case involved a mass lawsuit brought against drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers, which makes Plavix. The issue presented to the Court was whether the case could be pursued in a California court at all.

Under the law, courts can’t just hear any case they choose. There are legal requirements—both constitutional and statutory—that limit their powers to cases within their “jurisdiction.” One of these requirements is that the court hearing a lawsuit must have jurisdiction over the people or companies sued in a civil case, known as the “defendants.”

Bristol-Myers challenged the lawsuit against it on the ground that it should not have to defend a case in the California state court system at all. It argued that there were nearly 600 plaintiffs who did not reside in California and not even 100 who did reside here.

The California Supreme Court disagreed with the pharmaceutical giant, finding that the case could proceed. It pointed out that the company had conducted research and lab activities in California and that a co-defendant, McKesson, marketed Plavix for Bristol-Myers in the state.

The Court’s ruling has the potential to open up California’s court system to provide justice to more people than ever before. This is great news for injured people. California’s courts tend to be receptive to those who are injured, so long as there is a connection between the defendant who hurt them and the state of California.

A skilled products liability attorney can help you identify potential money damages when you’ve been badly injured by a defective product, such as a drug. For help, contact the California accident lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP for a free, no obligation consultation. Call 888.777.1776 to speak with an attorney right now. Delays can harm your case.

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