On June 27, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a Pennsylvania law that allows out-of-state corporations to be sued in Pennsylvania courts simply by registering to do business in the state. The case, Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., involved a Virginia resident who worked for Norfolk Southern in Virginia and Ohio. After he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he sued Norfolk Southern Railway – a North Carolina corporation, in Pennsylvania state court. Norfolk Southern argued that the Pennsylvania court did not have personal jurisdiction over it because it had no other contacts with the state.
The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the Pennsylvania corporate registration law created sufficient minimum contacts with the state to justify personal jurisdiction. The Court reasoned that by registering to do business in Pennsylvania, a corporation consents to being sued in Pennsylvania courts for any claims arising out of its activities in the state.
The Mallory decision is a significant victory for plaintiffs who are injured by out-of-state corporations. It makes it easier for plaintiffs to sue these corporations in their home state, where they may be more likely to succeed. The decision also has implications for businesses that register to do business in multiple states. These businesses should carefully consider the implications of the Mallory decision before registering to do business in any state. The corporate registration law in Kansas will likely make corporations registered there subject to lawsuits in the state.
What does this mean for businesses?
The Mallory decision means that businesses that register to do business in a state may be subject to personal jurisdiction in that state for any claims arising out of their activities in the state. This includes claims that are unrelated to the business’s registration activities. Businesses should be aware of the implications of the Mallory decision when registering to do business in any state. Many companies do business throughout the country and will be required to register to do business in those states.
What does this mean for plaintiffs?
The Mallory decision makes it easier for plaintiffs who are injured by out-of-state corporations to sue these corporations in their home state. This is because the decision allows plaintiffs to establish personal jurisdiction over out-of-state corporations based on their registration activities in the state. Plaintiffs should be aware of the Mallory decision and should consider whether it may be helpful in their case.
Our Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured by an out-of-state corporation, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. The attorneys at Morefield Speicher Bachman have extensive experience handling many types of personal injury cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.