Behrens and Knapp Dorell Author Article on Stream of Commerce Tort Rule

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Partner Mark Behrens and Staff Attorney Virginia Knapp Dorell have co-authored an article, “New York High Court Should Keep ‘Stream of Commerce’ Tort Rule,” for an October 10, 2014, edition of the Washington Legal Foundation’s Legal Opinion Letter. Behrens and Knapp Dorell argue that the New York Court of Appeals should apply the “stream-of-commerce” doctrine in its case Dummitt v. Crane Co. Under the doctrine, “a manufacturer can only be held liable for a harm caused by an injurious defective product made or sold by a third party when the manufacturer: (1) controlled the production of the injury-producing product, (2) derived a benefit from the sale of the injury-producing product; or (3) placed the injury-producing product into the stream of commerce.” The doctrine’s use in asbestos cases in New York has been “uneven, at best,” so Behrens and Knapp Dorell argue that New York’s highest court has the opportunity to clarify the proper application in Dummitt.