Whole Foods Market has asked a federal appeals court to rule on a simmering debate: Whether a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting personal jurisdiction in mass torts should also apply to class actions.
In a Jan. 28 opening brief, Whole Foods attorney Gregory Casas called on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to address a “novel issue of constitutional due process” on which district courts have failed to agree. The question is whether the Supreme Court’s 2017 ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, which was in a mass-tort action, also applies to class actions. So far, more than a dozen court decisions, most ruling on motions to dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction, have weighed in on the matter. Judges are split, and no federal appeals court has ruled on the issue.
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