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January 13th, 2015

A Rare ‘Point of Light’ in ‘Show Me Your Lawsuits State’

Judicial Hellholes reporters have long kept an eye on St. Louis, Missouri, one of the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions in the nation.  So in the rare instance that a judge there is willing to take even a small stand against the reflexive expansion of civil liability, it’s worthy of kudos.

On January 12, 2015, Circuit Judge Robert H. Dierker, Jr. agreed with the defendant, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company (and U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Daimler AG v. Bauman2014) in granting its motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.  DuPont had been sued in Missouri by a former employee for alleged asbestos exposure in Oklahoma.  In finding no allegations of Missouri asbestos exposure, Judge Dierker ruled that the case had no connection to Missouri and cannot be adjudicated there. 

Those who haven’t followed the plaintiff-favoring shenanigans of many of Judge Dierker’s judicial colleagues in St. Louis may wonder why a lawsuit that plainly should have been filed in Oklahoma or Delaware, the defendant’s principal place of business, ended up in St. Louis.  But the reason is simple: Personal injury lawyers and their clients are drawn to jurisdictions in which they believe judicial bias will favor their cases.  To his credit, Judge Dierker evenhandedly upheld the rule of law.

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