GOODYEAR v. BROWN

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
10-76
Petitioner 
Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A., et al.
Respondent 
Edgar D. Brown, et ux., Co-Administrators of the Estate of Julian David Brown, et al.
Decided By 
Advocates
(for the petitioners)
(Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, as amicus curiae, supporting the petitioners)
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The families of two North Carolina teenagers killed in a bus crash in France brought suit in North Carolina state court, alleging faulty tires. The tires were made in Turkey, and the plaintiffs sued Goodyear's Luxembourg affiliate and its branches in Turkey and France. A North Carolina appeals court held that the foreign defendants had sufficient contacts in the state to support general personal jurisdiction.

Question 

May a consumer sue a foreign manufacturer in a U.S. court when the manufacturer’s only connection with the United States is that another company sells its products in this country?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Goodyear, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Fourteenth Amendment, Due Process Clause

No. The Supreme Court reversed the lower court order in a unanimous decision by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "A connection so limited between the forum and the foreign corporation, we hold, is an inadequate basis for the exercise of general jurisdiction," Ginsburg wrote. "Such a connection does not establish the 'continuous and systematic' affiliation necessary to empower North Carolina courts to entertain claims unrelated to the foreign corporation's contacts with the State."

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GOODYEAR v. BROWN. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 15 April 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_10_76>.
GOODYEAR v. BROWN, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_10_76 (last visited April 15, 2014).
"GOODYEAR v. BROWN," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed April 15, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2010/2010_10_76.