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SACCAMANI v. ROBERT REISER & CO.

September 18, 1972

Angelo SACCAMANI, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT REISER & COMPANY, INC., Defendant, v. SEYDELMANN K.G. and Armour & Company, Third Party Defendant


McCune, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCCUNE

McCUNE, District Judge.

 We are confronted with a motion by Ludwig Seydelmann et al., trading and doing business as Maschinenfabrik Seydelmann KG (herein called Seydelmann) to dismiss the action (and quash service) brought against Seydelmann by defendant Robert Reiser & Company, Inc. (herein called Reiser).

 The plaintiff on September 17, 1969, was operating a meat cutting machine while an employee of Armour and Company. A so-called rotor on the machine struck plaintiff in the face seriously injuring him. Alleging that the machine was defective he sued Reiser, the company which had sold the machine to Armour.

 Reiser seeks to bring on the record as third-party defendants the manufacturers of the machine, the Seydelmanns (a limited partnership). All of the Seydelmanns live in Germany where they have manufactured and exported machinery for some years. They were served by service on the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and by registered mail. They now allege that this court cannot acquire jurisdiction of them giving rise once again to the arguments which come with ever increasing frequency as products liability actions proliferate against the sellers of foreign products. See the interesting study "Long Arm Wrestling in Pennsylvania," University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Summer of 1972, Volume 33, No. 4, by James M. Mabon.

 According to Seydelmann there has not been a member of the partnership in Pennsylvania since 1962 when one came to the United States to sell Seydelmann products. Seydelmann contends this was an isolated order directed by Reiser to Seydelmann. The affidavits would indicate otherwise.

 The Act of July 1, 1970, P.L. --, 12 P.S. § 342 states the following:

 
"From and after the passage of this act, any nonresident of this Commonwealth, who, acting individually . . . or through an agent . . . shall have done any business in this Commonwealth . . . shall be conclusively presumed to have designated the Secretary of the Commonwealth . . . as his agent for the service of process in any civil action . . . instituted in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania . . . if and only if at the time the cause of action accrued or the harm or financial loss occurred, the nonresident . . . shall have been doing any business within this Commonwealth . . ." 12 P.S. § 342.

 The Act then states at 12 P.S. § 344:

 
" Doing business; what constitutes:
 
"For the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of the courts within this Commonwealth, the doing by any individual within this Commonwealth of a series of similar acts for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit . . . or the doing of a single act in this Commonwealth for such purpose with the intention of initiating a series of such acts, or the shipping of merchandise directly or indirectly into or through this Commonwealth . . . shall constitute 'doing business'." 12 P.S. § 344.

 It is our opinion that this Act permits service on the Secretary of the Commonwealth (and the Seydelmanns by registered mail) and that such service, once made on the Seydelmanns in this case, gave jurisdiction to this court of the instant issues, save for the questions referred to later on.

 It is plain to us that the partners as individuals had been selling machinery through their distributor in Pennsylvania for a long time. They shipped merchandise directly into ...


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