In Maniscalco v. Brother International (USA) Corp., 709 F.3d 202 (3d Cir. 2013), plaintiff, a South Carolina resident, brought a class action in New Jersey district court alleging defects in computer printers. The district court found South Carolina law applied, and granted summary judgment for defendant. The Third Circuit affirmed. Under New Jersey’s Restatement approach, courts presume the law of the plaintiff’s state applies where the alleged misrepresentations were made and received in that state. Although the Third Circuit found that presumption to be inapplicable because the representations received in South Carolina were made elsewhere, it nonetheless concluded that South Carolina law applied. Applying the factors enumerated in the Restatement, the Third Circuit found South Carolina had the most significant contacts and, as a policy matter, that South Carolina law has the greater interest in the litigation. Further, while New Jersey has an interest in deterring misconduct by corporations located in New Jersey, “it is far from clear that this interest would be sufficient to outweigh other significant contacts with a plaintiff’s home state.”
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Third Circuit affirms choice of law dismissal
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