Keller Postman successfully represented plaintiff Robert Mallory before the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Pennsylvania’s "registration statute" requiring out-of-state corporations to consent to general jurisdiction in the state's courts as a condition of doing business in the state.
In a pivotal victory for plaintiffs, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Keller Postman client, Robert Mallory, in his suit against Norfolk Southern Railway—“giving injured consumers, workers, and others more choices of where to sue” large corporations, as reported by the New York Times.
In a case that goes to the heart of the original meaning of the Constitution and Due Process, Founding Partner Ashley Keller argued in favor of Mr. Mallory. He convinced the Supreme Court that Mr. Mallory was entitled to sue Norfolk Southern Railway in Pennsylvania state court for injuries stemming from 20 years of service to the railroad—even though Norfolk Southern was not headquartered in Pennsylvania, and the cause of action did not arise in Pennsylvania.
That is because Pennsylvania has a “registration statute.” As part of registering to do business, Norfolk Southern consented to be sued there. And as Keller Postman compellingly argued, that statute is fully consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and longstanding Supreme Court precedent.
As explained by the New York Times:
“The Supreme Court upheld a Pennsylvania law on Tuesday that requires corporations to consent to being sued in its courts — by anyone, for conduct anywhere — as a condition for doing business in the state.
Only Pennsylvania has such a law. But the ruling may pave the way for other states to enact similar ones, giving injured consumers, workers and others more choices of where to sue and subjecting corporations to suits in courts they may view as hostile to business.
… In ruling against the corporation at the center of the case, Norfolk Southern, Justice Gorsuch rejected its argument that it was entitled “to a more favorable rule, one shielding it from suits even its employees must answer” under the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Meet the attorneys involved in litigating Mallory in the Supreme Court
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State legislatures across the country are looking to enact statutes similar to Pennsylvania’s registration statute, opening up their states’ courts to those injured by corporations that do business within their borders.
Keller Postman attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of registration statutes and available to share what we know.
SCOTUS Blog: Whether a state's registration statute is constitutional if it requires corporations that do business in the state to consent to general jurisdiction in the state.