Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court

California cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over non-residents’ claims against a foreign corporation merely because the corporation engaged in the same conduct in California as to resident plaintiffs.  California cannot exercise general jurisdiction over Bristol-Myers, which is not incorporated in, nor does it have its principal place of business in, California.  California may exercise specific jurisdiction over Bristol-Myers only in if the claim has some affiliation with the forum state, as when the claim arises from activity or an occurrence in the state.  Here, California attempted to exercise specific jurisdiction over Bristol-Myers with respect to claims by non-resident patients who were prescribed its drug in other states, took the drug there, and suffered injuries in those other states as a result.  California has no adequate affiliation with those claims by non-residents to exercise specific jurisdiction over Bristol-Myers with regard to those claims.  The fact that Bristol-Myers engaged in the same conduct in California as to other plaintiffs, over whose claims California may exercise specific jurisdiction does not justify its exercise of jurisdiction over the non-residents’ claims, nor are Bristol-Myers’ other contacts with California that are unrelated to the non-residents’ claims sufficient to confer specific jurisdiction.

United States Supreme Court (Alito, J.; Sotomayor, J., dissenting); June 19, 2017; 2017 WL 2621322

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