Massachusetts Court Discusses Choice of Law Considerations in Federal Cases

In many cases, a person who has been harmed by a dangerous product lives in a state other than the one where the product was created. As a result, if the aggrieved party chooses to sue the manufacturer for damages, the case may be filed in federal court. When determining blame in a product liability case involving parties from several jurisdictions, there are a number of considerations to consider, including which state’s laws apply in the end. A federal court in Massachusetts has outlined the process a court will go through to decide whether state’s laws control the plaintiff’s claims in a case where the plaintiff was injured by a harmful medical device. If you have been hurt by a defective product, you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to see what claims you may be able to file.

Injuries Suffered by the Plaintiff

The complainant had a hernia that needed to be repaired surgically, according to reports. The defendant’s mesh was implanted into her abdomen during the surgery. The mesh eventually broke down, resulting in serious inside damage. She subsequently sued the defendant, claiming carelessness, strict liability for poor manufacturing and design, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment, among other things. The action was filed in federal court in Massachusetts because the plaintiff lived in Nebraska and the defendant’s primary business location was in Massachusetts. The defendant then moved for the plaintiff’s claims to be dismissed.

Federal Choice of Law Considerations

The court said that it must first perform a choice of law analysis to identify which state’s laws applied to the plaintiff’s claims before deciding whether they were adequate to defeat the defendant’s request to dismiss. The court must conduct an examination using the forum state’s choice of law rules to determine which laws apply in cases brought in federal court under diverse jurisdiction.

Courts in Massachusetts must follow the Restatement Second of the Conflict of Law when performing a choice of law analysis.  According to that viewpoint, tort claims should be handled per the law of the state where the purported harm arose unless a different state has a more significant connection to the underlying causes of action.  Because the plaintiff lived in Nebraska and the harm happened there, the court decided that Nebraska law should apply. As a result, the court used Nebraska law to dismiss some of the plaintiff’s claims, but not all of them.

Consult a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyers on Cape Cod

Companies that create and sell hazardous items should be held liable for any injuries caused by their negligence. If you were hurt by a dangerous product, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to an attorney. The capable lawyers of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, can inform you of your options for seeking justice and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 888-262-6664 to set up a meeting.



Contact Information