• Posts by Madison W. Sherrill
    Posts by Madison W. Sherrill

    Madison’s practice focuses on product liability, mass tort and toxic tort litigation. As an associate on the product liability and mass tort litigation team, Madison defends the interests of corporate clients through all phases ...

Time 4 Minute Read

It has been two years since the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Jud. Dist. Ct., 141 S. Ct. 1017 (2021), holding that Ford could be subject to personal jurisdiction in Minnesota and Montana because the suit “related to” the company’s contacts with the states, even though there was not a causal relationship between Ford’s contacts with the forum and plaintiffs’ claims. The Court’s ruling clarified its decisions in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Ct. of California, San Francisco Cnty., 137 S. Ct. 1773, 1780 (2017) and Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746, 749 (2014), which held that for state courts to exercise specific jurisdiction, the suit must “arise out of or relate to the defendant’s contacts with the forum.” As Justice Kagan explained, “[t]he first half of that standard asks about causation; but the back half, after the ‘or,' contemplates that some relationships will support jurisdiction without a causal showing.” Ford at 1026. Because claimants alleged a defective Ford vehicle caused the crashes and harm at issue, and “Ford had systematically served a market in Montana and Minnesota for the very vehicles that the plaintiffs allege malfunctioned and injured them in those States,” there was a strong “relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation” such that Ford could be subject to personal jurisdiction in those states. Id. at 1028.


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