Monday, September 25, 2023

Pennsylvania's Consent to Jurisdiction By Registering To Do Business In Pennsylvania Valid, But Subject To Continuing Attacks

Tort Talkers may recall the case of Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway in which the United States Supreme Court addressed the validity of Pennsylvania's consent by registration statute.  Under that statute, corporations and companies that register to do business in Pennsylvania thereby consent to subject themselves to jurisdiction in Pennsylvania state courts for lawsuits, even if the underlying accident occurred elsewhere.

A majority of U.S. justices upheld the validity of the statute, determining that it does not violate due process violations, and remanded the case back to Pennsylvania.  Yet, commentators note that the language of a Concurring Opinion by Justice Alito may spur Defendants to continue to attack the statute.

Under a recent Order, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court punted and remanded the issue all the way back down to the trial court for consideration, thereby rejecting the Defendants' attempt at a fast-tracked review by the Commonwealth's highest Court on continuing challenges to the question of whether or not Pennsylvania's consent by registration statute violates the U.S. Constitution.

Anyone wishing to review the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Order in this regard may click this LINK.

Presently, the statute providing that a corporation's registration to do business in Pennsylvania thereby subjects that corporation to Pennsylvania state court jurisdiction over personal injury lawsuits remains valid but subject to continuing attacks.

Source of image:  Photo by Jackie Hope on

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