On October 21, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania declined to limit the personal jurisdiction of Pennsylvania courts over nonresident defendants to cases in which the plaintiff’s claims are directly related to Pennsylvania. The decision was a setback for WLF, which argued that lower courts in Pennsylvania are inappropriately asserting nationwide jurisdiction over claims against nonresident businesses where the claims bear no relation to Pennsylvania. In his vigorous dissent, Chief Justice Saylor noted that the majority opinion contradicts existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent. The case involved an Indiana woman injured by a medical device implanted by her doctor in Indiana. She sued the New Jersey-based manufacturer, claiming that the device was defectively designed and that she received inadequate health warnings. WLF argued that Pennsylvania courts lack personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Although part of the defendant’s manufacturing process occurred in Pennsylvania, WLF argued that state courts may not assert jurisdiction based on that activity because there is no claim that the medical device was defectively manufactured.


June 21, 2019 brief