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In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Prods. Liab. Litig.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

November 28, 2017, Decided; November 30, 2017, Filed

CIVIL ACTION MDL NO. 09-2047, SECTION L (5)

Opinion

ORDER AND REASONS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Knauf Defendants [*2] 

B. The Chinese Defendants

II. LEGAL STANDARD

III. BRISTOL—MYERS SQUIBB V. SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

IV. DISCUSSION

A. This Court Has Specific Personal Jurisdiction Over Taishan

Under Settled Due Process Jurisprudence—Notwithstanding BMS.

1. Louisiana

2. Florida

3. Virginia

B. BMS Is Inapplicable In This MDL.

1. BMS Does Not Address Class Actions.

2. Class Actions Are Different From Mass Torts.

3. Congress Has Constitutional Authority To Shape

Federal Court Jurisdiction And Permit Nationwide Class Actions.

4. Federalism Concerns Are Not Present Here.

C. BMS Does Not Impact This Court's Prior Agency Analysis

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

Pending before the Court is Defendants CNBM and BNBM's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Rec. Doc. 20882. Defendants Taishan Gypsum Co., Ltd. and Tai'an Taishan Plasterboard Co., Ltd. ("Taishan") join the instant motion. Rec. Doc. 20955. Because this Court as well as the Fifth Circuit have already extensively addressed personal jurisdictional questions, the Court will treat Defendants' request as a motion for reconsideration.1

Defendants rest their motion on a recent United States Supreme Court case: Bristol—Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, 137 S. Ct. 1773, 198 L. Ed. 2d 395 (2017) ("BMS"). According to Defendants, BMS indicates [*3]  a great change in the controlling law on specific personal jurisdiction jurisprudence, which would alter this Court's prior decisions. Plaintiffs oppose the motion, arguing that BMS is not applicable in this case. On October 12, 2017, the Court held oral argument on the instant matter. Having reviewed BMS, the parties' submissions, and the applicable law, the Court now issues this Order and Reasons on Defendants' motion to reconsider the Court's prior opinions on jurisdiction, class certification, and agency relationship.2

I. BACKGROUND

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197612 *; 2017 WL 5971622

IN RE: CHINESE-MANUFACTURED DRYWALL PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION. THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: ALL CASES

Subsequent History: Motion denied by In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Prods. Liab. Litig., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 805 (E.D. La., Jan. 2, 2018)

Prior History: In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Prods. Liab. Litig., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60914 (E.D. La., Apr. 21, 2017)

CORE TERMS

class action, drywall, personal jurisdiction, contacts, forum state, nonresident, cases, nationwide class, federal court, Entities, due process, damages, district court, Fourteenth Amendment, courts, tort action, state court, class certification, Plaintiffs', settlement, residents, class member, Defendants', discovery, parties, manufactured, certify, sitting, agency relationship, remediation

Civil Procedure, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Altering & Amending Judgments, In Rem & Personal Jurisdiction, In Personam Actions, Due Process, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Scope of Protection, Doing Business, Substantial Contacts, Minimum Contacts, Long Arm Jurisdiction, Purposeful Availment, Challenges, Preliminary Considerations, Venue, Multidistrict Litigation, Class Actions, Class Members, Absent Members, Special Proceedings, Prerequisites for Class Action, Federal & State Interrelationships, Choice of Law, Class Actions, Jurisdiction, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Jurisdiction Over Actions, Governments, Courts, Rule Application & Interpretation