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Paynter Law Scores Win For Consumers In Recent NC Supreme Court Decision

Paynter Law Scores Win For Consumers In Recent NC Supreme Court Decision

Jun 20, 2023

In a recent decision by the Supreme Court of North Carolina, the legal team at Paynter Law achieved a significant victory on behalf of their client, Eric Miller, in the case of Eric Miller v. LG Chem, Ltd., et al. Plaintiff Eric Miller sued LG Chem, Ltd., and other defendants for severe burn injuries caused by the explosion of a lithium-ion battery manufactured and distributed by LG Chem.

The legal battle revolved around the dismissal of Mr. Miller’s claims against the defendants, LG Chem, Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc., by the trial court due to the alleged lack of personal jurisdiction. This decision had been previously upheld by the Court of Appeals, which had rejected further jurisdictional discovery based on the grounds that Miller had not provided enough factual allegations to support the jurisdiction over the LG defendants.

The advocacy of Paynter Law ensured the Supreme Court of North Carolina saw things differently. Citing the important precedent of Ford Motor Co. v. Mont. Eighth Jud. Dist. Ct., the Supreme Court emphasized the necessity of a detailed examination of the “relating to” element of specific personal jurisdiction analysis, which had not been clearly applied by the trial court.

The Supreme Court agreed with the legal team’s argument, recognizing the potential for new or additional facts that could influence the court’s jurisdictional analysis and thereby determining that the dismissal of Mr. Miller’s claims had been premature.

As a result, the Court has reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and remanded the case back to the trial court for reconsideration of the plaintiff’s discovery motions. 

This significant win for Paynter Law and Mr. Miller paves the way for a more detailed investigation into the LG defendants’ contacts with North Carolina, potentially leading to a reevaluation of jurisdiction and further progress in Mr. Miller’s case. The North Carolina Supreme Court’s decision vindicates a plaintiff’s right to pursue jurisdictional discovery and protects North Carolina residents injured by products manufactured by foreign defendants.