In an important decision for foreign companies, the First Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court ruling and held that a foreign manufacturer of an allegedly defective product was subject to personal jurisdiction and could be sued in Massachusetts. In Knox v. Metalforming, Inc., 914 F.3d 685 (1st Cir. 2019), plaintiff Stephen Knox badly injured his hand at his place of work, Cape Cod Copper, while operating a machine manufactured by German company Schechtl Maschinenbau GmbH and sold to Cape Cod Copper by MetalForming, Inc., Schechtl's Georgia-based exclusive U.S. distributor.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision last week allowing a retaliation lawsuit to proceed because the company's CEO told others that he wanted to "get rid of" an employee, even though there was no evidence that the CEO made those statements directly to the supervisor who terminated the employee, or that the CEO was in any way involved in the termination decision.
Mandatory arbitration clauses present in contracts are binding on assignees of those contracts, even where the transfer agreements assigning those contracts do not themselves contain arbitration clauses, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has ruled.