Foreign Companies Dragged into U.S. Courts Get Reprieve as U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Limits on General Jurisdiction

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In Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U. S. ____ (Jan. 14, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court reiterated that general or “all-purpose” jurisdiction can be exercised over foreign corporations only “when their affilia­tions with the State are so ‘continuous and systematic’ as to render them essentially at home in the forum State.” No general jurisdiction lies over a foreign defendant in a suit by foreign plaintiffs for actions outside of the U.S., based solely on its indirect subsidiary’s contacts with a state in which it is neither incorporated nor holds its principal place of business.