Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of San Francisco CountyAnnotate this Case
Eight separate complaints were filed in San Francisco Superior Court by or on behalf of 678 individuals. Eighty-six of those individuals were California residents and the remainder were nonresidents. All of the plaintiffs were allegedly prescribed Plavix, a drug created and marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), and allegedly suffered adverse consequences. BMS, which conducts significant business and research activities in California but is neither incorporated nor headquartered in the state, moved to quash service of summons on the ground that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over it to adjudicate the claims of the nonresident plaintiffs. The superior court denied BMS’s motion. BMS petitioned the Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate, naming the nonresident plaintiffs as real parties in interest. The Court of Appeal denied the writ, concluding that BMS was subject to the personal jurisdiction of the California courts on the basis of specific jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, in light of BMS’s extensive contacts with California, courts may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over the nonresident plaintiffs’ claims in this action, which arise from the same course of conduct that gave rise to the California plaintiffs’ claims.