Over the centuries, many have sought better opportunities in the United States. For the last few years, tort plaintiffs have been among them. Companies in many industries have been the target of lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who live outside the United States, over injuries that also allegedly occurred elsewhere, whether because of perceived advantages in substantive law within the United States, or access to procedural devices in U.S. courts that are not widely available in the rest of the world (such as the class action device). In a May 1 opinion by Judge Posner filed in two consolidated appeals, Abad v. Bayer Corp. and Pastor v. Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC, the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of two cases on grounds of forum non conveniens. In both cases, the plaintiffs are Argentine citizens who live in Argentina and allegedly were injured there, but filed product liability lawsuits against American manufacturers in U.S. district courts. Under the familiar forum non conveniens doctrine, the district courts had weighed various factors and concluded in both cases that Argentina was better-suited to decide plaintiffs' lawsuits -- Abad being a 600-plaintiff class action in which hemophiliacs contended they contracted the AIDS virus from the defendant's clotting factor, and Pastor an auto accident rollover case involving allegedly defective tires.… Continue Reading