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Recent Cal. Sup. Court Decision May Make It Easier to Sue Out-of-State Wrongdoers

Monday, December 12, 2016By Richard Alexander

The California Supreme Court recently opened the door for many people to bring lawsuits against out-of-state defendants in certain types of cases. The lawsuit that resulted in the court’s ruling involved the prescription drug Plavix.

Hundreds of plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb alleging that they suffered personal injuries after taking Plavix. Most of the plaintiffs lived outside California, but 86 lived in-state.

The drug was not researched or made in California, although other drugs were researched and developed here. The drug company was not incorporated in California and was not headquartered in California.

The drug company asked the trial court to dismiss the case against it. The company argued that it was unfair to make it defend the case in California because it didn’t have many contacts with the state.

The case eventually reached the California Supreme Court, which decided that the Plavix lawsuit was proper in California for both the in-state and out-of-state plaintiffs who had been injured by the drug.

The Supreme Court honed in on the fact that the drug company marketed Plavix nationwide, including in California. The drug giant had “purposefully directed” its marketing campaign inside the state. The court also considered that the company had research and development facilities, as well as employees, inside the state.

This case is important because it will allow more people access to California courts when companies direct their activities inside the state. One main area of impact will be consumer products. When a company markets its product nationwide, including in California, those injured by that product will be able to access justice in our state.

The Alexander Law Group, LLP is a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury and product liability law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco. We are passionate about our clients and our community. We are advocates for our clients and we invite you to read what our clients have to say. If you or someone you know has been injured, contact us at the Alexander Law Group, LLP or call 888.777.1776. All calls are free and confidential.

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