Contact: Jennifer Fuson
SCOTUS Ruling in McIntyre v. Nicastro Adds Obstacles to Holding Foreign Corporations Accountable in the U.S.
Washington, DC—The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro today makes it more difficult to hold foreign manufacturers accountable in the U.S. court system, according to the American Association for Justice (AAJ).
“Simply put, foreign companies that market and sell their products in our country should not be able to evade accountability,” said AAJ President Gibson Vance. “In our global marketplace, this decision will allow foreign manufacturers to sell their products without adhering to our safety standards.”
Legislation introduced in the last Congress – the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act – would ensure foreign manufacturers are held to our safety standards or be subject to our legal system by requiring, as a condition of market access, foreign companies to identify a registered agent to accept service of process on behalf of non-U.S. manufacturers. Doing so would constitute an acceptance of jurisdiction in U.S. courts, one obstacle to holding foreign manufacturers to the same safety standards as U.S. corporations.
“This decision not only hurts consumers, but also U.S. distributors and businesses that must adhere to safety laws and regulations that foreign manufacturers can avoid,” said Vance. “Congress must act quickly to address legal jurisdiction in our global marketplace.”
According to a recent analysis by AAJ, 83 percent (312) of the 377 recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2009 were from foreign manufacturers. The 2008 CPSC data is similar, when 84 percent (329) of recalls were from foreign manufacturers out of 392 total recalls for the year.
The Center for Constitutional Litigation, P.C. (CCL) filed a brief in the case on behalf of the American Association for Justice.