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Product Liability Case Dismissed for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Over a National Corporation.

In this complex lawsuit, the plaintiff suffered traumatic injury when the steering column of his tractor trailer became unyoked, rendering it uncontrollable and causing it to crash. The manufacturer is a Delaware LLC headquartered in North Carolina, but it manufactured the truck at its plant in Virginia. The plaintiff, a Pennsylvania citizen, crashed while driving it in Texas. The suit was filed in Philadelphia, as the LLC’s sole corporate parent is a Pennsylvania corporation. Based upon that, the plaintiff argued that the LLC should be deemed a citizen of Pennsylvania. The trial court sustained our preliminary objections due to lack of jurisdiction. We briefed and argued the appeal the plaintiff filed with the Superior Court, which affirmed on the basis that, despite its Pennsylvania parent, the LLC itself is not “at home” in Pennsylvania because it is formed and headquartered elsewhere. Therefore, there is no general personal jurisdiction over it.

 

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