Home field advantage is at stake here.
The Supreme Court recently held that that mass tort actions may not be pursued against a Defendant in a forum where that Defendant is not subject to general jurisdiction, unless the claims arise out of conduct in that state. It did not address whether this same rule applies in class actions under Rule 23. If so, then nationwide class actions can only be pursued in a Defendant’s home state (where it is subject to general jurisdiction.)
Earlier this week the Grand Duchess reported that the DC Circuit Court of Appeal punted on the all-important question of whether out of state class members can sue in a Defendant in a forum where that Defendant is not subject to general jurisdiction.
Well just today the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in. And, it took the issue head on and determined that the Supreme Court’s Bristol Myers Squibb decision does not apply to Rule 23 class actions, for some reason. Opinion here:
This is a huge set back for common sense, and for Defendants seeking to leverage BMS in Rule 23 class cases. This is especially so as courts within the N.D. Ill. (which is within the 7th Cir) were the most likely in the nation to strike unnamed out-of-state class members in TCPA suits.
More analysis to follow. Stay tuned TCPAWorld.