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29 Apr 2013

Michael Bobelian, Forbes

Supreme Court Could Redraw The Reach Of America's Courts

DaimlerChrysler AG v. Bauman, which the Court will hear in its next term, asks the Court to resolve a different but related question: can an American court exercise jurisdiction “over a foreign corporation based solely on the fact that an indirect corporate subsidiary performs services on behalf of the defendant” in the United States? The plaintiffs in the case have accused an Argentinean subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler…of collaborating with Argentinean officials in kidnapping, torturing, and killing former employees of the subsidiary. They sued DaimlerChrysler, a German company, in California by obtaining jurisdiction through the automaker’s American subsidiary…[T]he justices could use the case as an opportunity to redefine the jurisdictional reach of American courts over large-scale corporations.