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DAIMLER AG V BARBARA BAUMAN ET AL 2 CATEGORIES OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

JAN 14 2014 | GINSBURG, J (1) Represented by International Shoe itself, a case in which the in-state activities of the
corporate defendant had not only been continuous and systematic but also gave rise to the
FACTS liabilities sued on
The workers and relatives of workers in the Gonzalez-Catan plant of Mercedes Benz Argentina, a  The commission of some single or occasional acts of the corporate agent in a state”
wholly owned subsidiary of German-based DaimlerChrysler AG ("the company"), sued the may sometimes be enough to subject the corporation to jurisdiction in that State’s
company for violations of the Torture Victims Protection Act of 1991. They argued that, during tribunals with respect to suits relating to that in-state activity
Argentina's "Dirty War" of 1976-1983, the company sought to punish plant workers suspected of  Adjudicatory authority of this order, in which the suit arises out of or relates to the
being union agitators and worked with the Argentinean military and police to do so by passing defendant’s contracts with the form is today called specific jurisdiction
along information and allowing the plant to be raided. The plaintiffs also argued that the company
stood to gain from these actions as they ended strikes and allowed the plant to continue operating Distinguished between exercises of specific jurisdiction and situations where a foreign
at maximum production levels. corporation’s continuous corporate operations within a state are so substantial and of such
a nature as to justify suit against it on causes of action arising from dealings entirely
The plaintiffs sued the company in district court in California, where some of the company's major distinct form those activities
subsidiaries are located under the Alien Torts Act, and the company moved for dismissal based  A court may assert general jurisdiction over foreign (sister-state or foreign-country)
on a lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court granted the motion for dismissal and held that corporations to hear any and all claims against them when their affiliations with the State are
the company did not have enough contacts in California to warrant a California court exercising so ‘continuous and systematic’ as to render them essentially at home in the forum State.
jurisdiction. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the decision and held that it  Specific jurisdiction has become the centerpiece of modern jurisdiction theory, while general
is reasonable for a California court to have jurisdiction over a multinational company that is capable jurisdiction [has played] a reduced role
of litigating the case regardless of the location and has pervasive business contacts in the state.  INTERNATIONAL SHOE’s momentous departure from PENNOYER’s rigidly territorial focus
unleased a rapid expansion of tribunal’s ability to hear claims against out-of-state defendants
ISSUE: when the episode-in-suit subsequent decisions have continued to bear out the prediction that
WON a court can exercise jurisdiction over a foreign company based on the fact that a subsidiary specific jurisdiction will come into sharper relief and form a considerably more significant part
of the company acts on its behalf in the forum state? NO of the scene.
The company's slim contacts in California, relative to its other national and international contacts,
are not sufficient to render it "at home" in the state for the purpose of general jurisdiction. Because
the company had so little connection to California and this suit had nothing to do with the
company's conduct in the state, to allow the district court to adjudicate such a case would grant
the courts essentially global reach as long as the foreign company in question did any business
with the state. The Court also held that subjecting the company to this suit would not be in line
with the "fair play and substantial justice" standard the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment demands.

GOODYEAR DUNLOP TIRES OPERAITONS SA V BROWN – distinction between general or all-


purpose jurisdiction and specific or conduct-linked jurisdiction
 A court may assert jurisdiction over a foreign corporation to hear any and all claims against
it only when the corporation’s affiliations with the State in which suit is brought are so constant
and pervasive as to render it essentially at home in the forum state
 IN CASE AT BAR, DAIMLER is not at home in California and cannot be sued there for
injuries plaintiffs attribute to MB ARGENTINA’s conduct in Argentina

CALIFORNIA’S LONG-ARM STATUTE – California state courts may exercise personal


jurisdiction on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of this state or of the United States
 Allows the exercise of personal jurisdiction to the full extent permissible under the US
Constitution

PENNOYER V NEFF – A tribunal’s jurisdiction over persons reaches no farther than the
geographic bounds of the forum

INTERNATIONAL SHOE CO V WASHINGTON – A State may authorize its courts to exercise


personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant if the defendant has ‘certain minimum contacts
with [the State] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend “traditional notions of fair
play and substantial justice.”
 The relationship among the defendant, he forum, and the litigation, rather than the mutually
exclusive sovereignty of the States on which the rules of Pennoyer rest, became the central
concern of the inquiry into personal jurisdiction.”