• U.S. Supreme Court Reverses New Jersey’s Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Manufacturer
  • August 9, 2011 | Authors: Charles J. Falletta; Beth S. Rose
  • Law Firm: Sills Cummis & Gross P.C. - Newark Office
  • In J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, Docket No. 09-1343, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 4800 (June 27, 2011), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a New Jersey Supreme Court holding that courts in this state can exercise personal jurisdiction over a foreign manufacturer defendant in a product liability action under a “stream of commerce” theory if, based on its nationwide distribution system, the manufacturer has reason to know that its product may end up in New Jersey. The U.S. Supreme Court held that the proper analysis required a demonstration that the foreign manufacturer “purposefully avail[ed] itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws.” Because the foreign manufacturer did not advertise, sell its product, conduct business, or otherwise target the State of New Jersey, it was not subject to jurisdiction in New Jersey in the underlying products liability lawsuit. Although six Justices agreed to reverse the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Court failed to issue a majority opinion.