Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration of Dismissals Based Upon Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Denied U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, January 11, 2018
MISSOURI — On June 27, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted several defendants’ motions to dismiss based upon a lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion to reconsider due to an intervening change in the law, specifically the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) opinion issued on June 19, 2017. The court noted that such motions, filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59, cannot be used to raise arguments which could have been raised prior to the issuance of judgment. Recognizing that the BMS opinion was issued after briefing on the personal jurisdiction issue, the court nevertheless found that the plaintiffs could have raised the argument before the June 27, 2017 decision was rendered.
The court also held that the BMS opinion did not mandate reconsideration. It dismissed the plaintiffs’ argument that the Supreme Court left open the possibility of a federal court exercising broader personal jurisdiction under the Fifth Amendment than state courts can under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court also reiterated the holding in BMS, that there must be a connection between the forum and the specific claims at issue. Finding that nothing had changed since it initially articulated its reasoning for granting the motions to dismiss, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration.