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Larry Coben, AnapolWeiss Larry Coben, Anapol Weiss

When the defendant’s product—designed and sold outside the commonwealth—is used in the forum state while in a defective condition (that existed when it was first released into the stream of commerce) and the injury occurs in the forum, and the defendant markets lots of its products in Pennsylvania, the tort has “arisen out of or relates to” the defendant’s activities, and jurisdiction lies in the commonwealth. See Ford Motor v. Montana, 592 U.S. ____(2021). The location of the sale is not a controlling factor. The marketing of products throughout the United States establishes a predicate for the application of the principles of law that embrace the stream of commerce jurisprudential logic. Personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant has been discussed and defined in both state and federal courts for decades. Essentially, a court has jurisdiction over a nonresident when the defendant has enjoyed appropriate contacts with the state warranting resolution of the legal conflict in that jurisdiction. To what extent a nonresident defendant has minimum contacts depends upon the facts of the individual case. One essential inquiry is whether the defendant has purposefully acted to obtain benefits or privileges in the forum state. A state court’s assertion of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is consistent with due process if that defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with the forum state and maintenance of the suit would not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

In a unanimous result, the U.S. Supreme Court in Ford Motor held that:

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