Judge Herndon ruled last week that the Bayer witnesses must come to the United States for the scheduled Rule 30(b)(6) depositions. Bayer wanted the depositions to be held in Brussels, Belgium. Although Bayer is headquartered in Germany, German law does not permit depositions, providing additional protection to the German companies. However if a foreign company wants to make profits from selling in the United States marketplace, it automatically submits to the jurisdiction of the United States.
This ruling is important and fair. Any company that wants to market its products, particularly dangerous products, ought to be required to submit to questioning in the country where the harm caused by those products occurs.
For news coverage of the ruling, click here.
Even though this ruling was issued only in the MDL litigation, which is pending in East St. Louis, Illinois before Judge Herndon, the ruling benefits the various state court proceedings as well, since lawyers from all of the various jurisdictions participate in the depositions.