US Supreme Court limits jurisdiction in plaintiff injury claims

After a serious accident caused by a major corporation, most people experience some trepidation. It is no small task to face a powerful company to obtain compensation for medical bills and other damages.

When bringing a lawsuit against a power national corporation, being able to find a court that is known to be favorable to plaintiff claims is a tremendous benefit. However, it looks like that benefit has become much more limited due to a recent Supreme Court ruling.

A Recent Supreme Court Ruling

The gist of a recent Supreme Court ruling – as reported in a recent news story from Reuters.com – is that plaintiffs can no longer “court shop” to find a jurisdiction that will be friendly to their claims.

In the case at hand, the court was reviewing a case in which a plaintiff brought a lawsuit in Montana. The case was an accident claim against defendant BNSF Railway Co., which is based in Texas. The accident from which the personal injury claim emerged did not occur in Montana.

The Montana court based its jurisdiction on the fact that the state was in the Texas railroad company’s network.

The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that a lower court cannot hear a personal injury claim of this kind against a corporation if the corporation is not based in that jurisdiction and the accident did not occur in that jurisdiction.

The Impact of This Decision

Although at first glance it might seem unimportant or, at worst, just another case of plaintiffs facing more challenges when bringing injury claims, this is a win for big corporate.

However, this decision can have significant impact on any kind of plaintiff claim against a major corporation. This can include:

  • Train accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Product liability
  • Other significant injury claims against national corporations

Although this Supreme Court case is unfortunate, it underscores the importance of working with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who can win your case even in more challenging courtroom environments.

At the Gold Law Firm, we offer free consultations. Talk with us about case to determine the best course of action.

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