Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Superior Court of Cal.

Supreme Court of the United States

November 5, 1986, Argued ; February 24, 1987, Decided

No. 85-693

Opinion

 [*105]  [***100]  [**1028]    JUSTICE O'CONNOR announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court with respect to Part I, the opinion of the Court with respect to Part II-B, in which THE CHIEF JUSTICE, JUSTICE BRENNAN, JUSTICE WHITE, JUSTICE MARSHALL, JUSTICE BLACKMUN, JUSTICE POWELL, and JUSTICE STEVENS join, and an opinion with respect to Parts II-A and III, in which THE CHIEF JUSTICE, JUSTICE POWELL, and JUSTICE SCALIA join.

 This case presents the question whether the mere awareness on the part of a foreign [****9]  defendant that the components it manufactured, sold, and delivered outside the United States would reach the forum State in the stream of commerce constitutes "minimum contacts" between the defendant and the forum State such that the exercise of jurisdiction "does not offend 'traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'" International Shoe Co.  [**1029]  v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945), quoting Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463 (1940).

On September 23, 1978, on Interstate Highway 80 in Solano County, California, Gary Zurcher lost control of his Honda motorcycle and collided with a tractor. Zurcher was severely injured, and his passenger and wife, Ruth Ann Moreno, was killed. In September 1979, Zurcher filed a product liability action in the Superior Court of the State of  [*106]  California in and for the County of Solano. Zurcher alleged that the 1978 accident was caused by a sudden loss of air and an explosion in the rear tire of the motorcycle, and alleged that the motorcycle tire, tube, and sealant were defective. Zurcher's complaint named, inter alia, Cheng Shin Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd.  [****10]  (Cheng Shin), the Taiwanese manufacturer of the tube. Cheng Shin in turn filed a cross-complaint seeking indemnification from its codefendants and from petitioner, Asahi Metal Industry Co., Ltd. (Asahi), the manufacturer of the tube's valve assembly. Zurcher's claims against Cheng Shin and the other defendants were eventually settled and dismissed, leaving only Cheng Shin's indemnity action against Asahi.

] California's long-arm statute authorizes the exercise of jurisdiction "on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of this state or of the United States." Cal. Civ. Proc. Code Ann. § 410.10 (West 1973). Asahi moved to quash Cheng Shin's service of summons, arguing the State could not exert jurisdiction over it consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

480 U.S. 102 *; 107 S. Ct. 1026 **; 94 L. Ed. 2d 92 ***; 1987 U.S. LEXIS 555 ****; 55 U.S.L.W. 4197; CCH Prod. Liab. Rep. P11,267

ASAHI METAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD. v. SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, SOLANO COUNTY (CHENG SHIN RUBBER INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., REAL PARTY IN INTEREST)

Prior History:  [****1]  CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA.

Disposition:  39 Cal. 3d 35, 702 P. 2d 543, reversed and remanded.

CORE TERMS

forum state, manufacturer, valve, stream of commerce, foreseeability, tubes, assemblies, tire, personal jurisdiction, minimum contact, purposefully, consumer, distributor, stream-of-commerce, sales, exercise of jurisdiction, join, products, courts, substantial justice, fair play, contacts, alien, cases, exercise of personal jurisdiction, assertion of jurisdiction, final product, present case, indemnification, anticipate

Civil Procedure, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, In Personam Actions, General Overview, Jurisdiction, Constitutional Limits, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Minimum Contacts, Foreseeability, Placement of Product in Commerce, Jurisdictional Sources, Long Arm Jurisdiction, International Law, Dispute Resolution, Business & Corporate Compliance, Conflict of Law, Jurisdiction