On March 10, 2020, a divided panel of the D.C. Circuit denied, as premature, a defendant’s motion to dismiss all nonresident putative class members for lack of personal jurisdiction. The decision was a setback for WLF, which had argued in an amicus brief that though the Supreme Court has cut back on the power of state courts to exercise jurisdiction over out-of-state corporations, the lower court here attempted an end-run around that restriction by refusing to apply it to class actions. The case arises from a suit by five employees of Whole Foods stores in the District of Columbia who contend that they were not paid all the employee bonuses to which they are entitled. They seek to represent a class comprising thousands of similarly situated employees in 26 other States. WLF argued that due process protects a business from being forced to defend a lawsuit outside of its home State unless the claim arises within the forum, and that those protections apply equally in the class-action context.


WLF amicus brief