Oral argument: Jan. 11, 2011*
Appealed from: North Carolina Court of Appeals (Aug. 18, 2009)
GENERAL JURISDICTION, FOREIGN CORPORATION, SUFFICIENT CONTACTS, DUE PROCESS
Two North Carolina teenagers were killed in France when a tire, manufactured by Goodyear Luxembourg, malfunctioned and caused an accident. Their estates sued the foreign manufacturers of the defective tire for negligence in a North Carolina state court, and the state court found that it had general jurisdiction over the defendants and could hear the case. Goodyear Luxembourg argues that North Carolina does not have general jurisdiction because the company has no presence in or direct business with North Carolina. The teenagers' estates argue that the court properly found jurisdiction because Goodyear Luxembourg is part of the larger and highly integrated Goodyear enterprise, which does have significant contact with North Carolina. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case will determine the ease with which plaintiffs may sue foreign manufacturers in state court, and could potentially affect commercial relations between the United States and other nations.