In reversing the lower court, the Iowa Supreme Court applied the longstanding Iowa interpretation of the “stream-of-commerce” doctrine, and rejected the more stringent interpretation advanced by Doublestar.
Under stream-of-commerce, courts have jurisdiction over a corporation “that delivers its products into the stream of commerce with the expectation that they will be purchased by consumers in the forum state.”
Also, Doublestar conceded it was subject to the jurisdiction of Tennessee and had not shown it would be more burdensome for it to face a lawsuit there than in Iowa, the high court said.
“A Tennessee forum would be far more burdensome to the Books compared to their home county,” the court ruled. “Their interest in obtaining convenient relief at home clearly outweighs Doublestar's interest in avoiding Iowa in favor of Tennessee.”
Neil Ray Chamberlin, an attorney for the Little Rock, Ark., law firm of McMath Woods P.C. which represented the Books, praised the decision. “This was the right decision,” Mr. Chamberlin said. “I've seldom seen a case where the evidence was so compelling.”
Kevin M. Reynolds of the Des Moines-based law firm of Whitfield & Eddy P.L.C., which represented Doublestar, told Tire Business on March 10 that he was not sure whether Doublestar would appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Reynolds declined other comment on the case.
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