When suing a foreign manufacturer, the plaintiff’s attorney must take into account jurisdictional rules set by the Supreme Court as well as the long arm statute of his/her forum state.
Due process is not satisfied unless a foreign defendant has “minimum contacts” with the forum state. The test is whether it should be reasonably anticipated that the defendant would be sued in the forum. Worldwide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 US 286, 62 L.Ed.2d 490 (1980). If a nondomiciliary tort-feasor has certain contacts with the forum state, it may reasonably foresee the prospect of defending the suit there if it purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within that state. Thus, in Worldwide Volkswagon, a New York car dealer who sold an Audi to a New York plaintiff who was then injured driving from New York through Oklahoma on the way to Arizona could not be sued in Oklahoma because the defendants could not have reasonably foreseen being sued there. It was merely a fortuitous circumstance that a single Audi automobile sold in New York to New York residents happened to be in an accident while passing through Oklahoma.
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