Insurance companies and corporations and the politicians who support their interests have yet another victory to celebrate. The United States Supreme Court, certainly the most reactionary Supreme Court since before Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, has again sided with corporations to the detriment of the common man or woman.
In its decision of June 27, 2011, in the case of J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd., v. Nicastro, the United States Supreme Court struck down a decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court and ruled that a New Jersey worker who lost several fingers at work while operating a machine made in England by a British company could not sue that company in New Jersey courts because the manufacturer had not “purposefully” availed itself of the privilege of conducting business in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Court had ruled that “fairness and foreseeability” should allow suit in New Jersey. The United States Supreme Court ruled that “fairness and foreseeability” do not count even though the manufacturer had targeted every one of the fifty states as places that it wanted to sell its machines for profit.
The New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that globalization of the world economy has removed national boundaries as barriers to trade. Thus, if a person was hurt in New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that the injured person may use New Jersey courts to sue a foreign manufacturer who has built a dangerous machine.
In a day when almost everything is made in China, does the United States Supreme Court want the ordinary citizen to have no rights against foreign manufacturers? Perhaps so.