Category: Corporate

Status of Long-Arm Jurisdiction in Pennsylvania Federal Courts

In June 2019, Judge Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal court held that the Pennsylvania statutory business registration scheme’s purported conferral of consent to general personal jurisdiction in exchange for a company’s ability to legally do business in Pennsylvania was unconstitutional under Due Process Clause.   Sullivan v. A.W. Chesterton, Inc., et al. (In re Asbestos Products Liab. Litig. (No. VI)), 384 F.Supp.3d 532 (E.D. Pa. 2019).  According to Judge Robreno,

In 2014, the [U.S.] Supreme Court decided the case of Daimler AG v. Bauman [571 U.S. 117, 134 S.Ct. 746, 187 L.Ed.2d 624 (2014)] which brought about a sea change in the jurisprudence of exercising general personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation.  Daimler held that under the Due Process Clause, subjecting a foreign corporation to general jurisdiction in every state in which it “engages in a substantial, continuous, and systematic course of business” was “unacceptably grasping.”  Under Daimler, the exercise of general jurisdiction over a foreign defendant (except in extraordinary circumstances) was limited to where the corporation was “at home,” namely, the forums in which the foreign corporation is incorporated and where it maintains its principal place of business.

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