Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on February 5, 2019, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Whole Foods Market Group Inc. v. Molock on appeal from the federal D.C. District Court.
The case concerns the question of whether a state court can exercise specific jurisdiction over a nonresident corporation in class-action claims made by unnamed, nonresident class-action members. The U.S. Supreme Court in Bristol-Myers Squibb had previously held that state courts could not exercise such specific jurisdiction over the claims of named nonresidents against a corporation outside of its state of incorporation or principal place of business.
In Whole Foods, the D.C. District Court determined that Bristol-Myers Squibb did not extend to unnamed members of a class action. The Business Roundtable-Chamber friend-of-the-court brief supports the appeal challenging the DC Circuit’s holding.
A circuit court ruling upholding the Whole Foods appeal would provide predictability for companies and limit forum shopping by plaintiffs’ attorneys.