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Cases & Deals

June 2, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert, Preserving Dismissal Of Claims Against GM Canada on Personal Jurisdiction Grounds

The Hinrichs case arose out of a June 24, 2007 crash in Geneva County, Alabama involving a pickup truck designed by General Motors Corporation (“Old GM”) and manufactured by GM Canada.  Plaintiff Florian Hinrichs, a 27-year-old fighter pilot with the German Army stationed in Alabama for training, sustained injuries during the wreck that rendered him a quadriplegic.  He sued Old GM and a number of Doe defendants alleging that defects in the pickup’s restraint system and roof structure caused his injuries.  After Old GM filed for bankruptcy, Hinrichs amended his Complaint to add GM Canada as a defendant.  Following jurisdictional discovery and multiple hearings, a K&S team convinced the trial court that Alabama’s courts lacked both general and specific jurisdiction over GM Canada in the case, a decision which was affirmed on appeal by the Alabama Supreme Court, and affirmed again when the Alabama Supreme Court denied Hinrichs’s petition for rehearing.  Hinrichs petitioned to the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari.   On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Plaintiff’s petition for writ of certiorari, preserving K&S’s victory for GM Canada in the Alabama Supreme Court.