On December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania handed down a landmark ruling on personal jurisdiction in Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company. Before this decision, the controlling rule had been that foreign corporations subject themselves to general personal jurisdiction by registering to do business in Pennsylvania. In Mallory, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court changed that rule and held that a foreign corporation’s registration to do business does not confer general personal jurisdiction over the corporation.
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On March 19, 2019, the United States Supreme Court took a middle-ground approach in deciding when, under federal maritime law, a “bare-metal” manufacturer is liable for failure to warn of dangers posed by parts used with its products, even though they are made by other manufacturers. Rejecting both a “foreseeability” standard and the “bare metal defense,” the 6-3 majority in Air & Liquid Systems Corp. v. DeVries held that “[i]n the maritime tort context, a product manufacturer has a duty to warn when (i) its product requires incorporation of a part, (ii) the manufacturer knows or has reason to know that the integrated product is likely to be dangerous for its intended uses, and (iii) the manufacturer has no reason to believe that the product’s users will realize that danger.”
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