Oral argument: January 11, 2011*
Appealed from: Supreme Court of New Jersey (Feb. 2, 2010)
PERSONAL JURISDICTION, STREAM OF COMMERCE, PURPOSEFUL AVAILMENT, MINIMUM CONTACTS, SPECIFIC JURISDICTION
Robert Nicastro was injured while operating a three-ton metal-shearing machine made by J. McIntyre Machinery. Nicastro sued J. McIntyre Machinery and its exclusive American distributor, McIntyre Machinery of America, Inc., in New Jersey state court. Nicastro argues that New Jersey has specific jurisdiction over J. McIntyre Machinery under the stream of commerce theory as described in Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court. J. McIntyre Machinery argues that New Jersey courts do not have personal jurisdiction over it because it has never the targeted New Jersey market for its products. The New Jersey Supreme Court held that J. McIntyre Machinery's national distribution was sufficient to support New Jersey's exercise of personal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court's decision will resolve what plaintiffs must establish before state courts of the United States can exercise specific jurisdiction over foreign manufacturers who do not market their products in specific states, but rather target the U.S. market generally.