Roll on, “stream of commerce,” roll on.

In 2011 in J. McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro, the Supreme Court revisited the issue of specific personal jurisdiction over a manufacturer based on putting a product into the “stream of commerce.”  131 S. Ct. 2780 (2011).  While the fractured Court did not produce a majority opinion, the plurality and a 2-Justice concurrence expressed concern about a view of that doctrine that would allow jurisdiction in a particular state based on a manufacturer’s general intent to do business across the country.  The Fifth Circuit directly addressed that language in Ainsworth v. Moffett Engineering, No. 12-60155 (May 9, 2013), finding that the plurality was not controlling, and that the 2-Justice concurrence was decided on the limited ground that no formulation of the doctrine would allow jurisdiction based on that manufacturer’s small number of shipments into the forum.  Because the defendant in Ainsworth had over 100 shipments during the relevant time, jurisdiction was appropriate. Language from past Circuit cases that may be inconsistent with McIntyre was noted but kept in place for now.

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