Case Name : Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk
Court Deciding The Case: United States Supreme Court
Case citation: 486 U. S. 694, 699 (1988)
After the parents of the respondent were killed in an accident a case of wrongful death action was filed by him in an Illinois court with allegation that the accident which his parents were subjected to was a result of the fault in design by the manufacturer. The American subsidiary of the appellant denied having designed the car therefore the respondent changed his complaint and made it against the sole owner of the American subsidiary in Germany. It was argued by the appellant that the respondent has no power to sue the appellant in United States. The claim of the respondent (plaintiff) was held in the lower court and thus the appellant (defendant) appealed against the decision in the Supreme Court.
The court had to determine in this case that whether the fault in design accounted to the accident or not and whether the respondent had powers to sue the appellant in Unites States or not.
According to the rule of agencies the principle is liable for all the actions which is committed by its agent during the course of employment. The court has to determine whether a representation was provided by the principle that the agent is a representative of the principle and such representation was the reason the plaintiff used the product or services of the principle.
It was held by the court that no foreign convention is applicable in this case and the rule of agency can be used to determine the issue as Volkswagen Germany was served in a proper was in America through its agent VW America. Thus the decision of the lower court was affirmed by the supreme court.
Justice O’Connor based his decision on cases such as Ex parte Volkswagenwerk A.G., 443 So.2d 880, 88 where it was provided by the court that the rule of agency is applicable as the patent company as served properly through its subsidiary in the nation. Along with other cases like Zisman v. Sieger, 106 F.R.D.194 and Lamb v. Volkswagenwerk A.G., 104 F.R.D. 95 where the same judgment was affirmed.
The decision of the court in this case reaffirms that a company is not entitled to evade its liability by the mere fact taken international law may be applicable and the nation is not a member. The conventional rule of agencies has been upheld in this case by exercising the long arm jurisdiction of the court. The American as well as the German company should have been held liable in this case instead of only the principle as the matter would be subjected to further international litigation by the German company. The interpretation of the court in this has been nearly perfect with respect to the wordings of the conventions and the available common law. Thus it can be states that the decision provided by the Supreme Court in this case is correct.
Ex parte Volkswagenwerk A.G., 443 So.2d 880, 88
Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk 486 U. S. 694, 699 (1988)
Zisman v. Sieger, 106 F.R.D.194