The opinion of the court was delivered by: LORD, III
Joseph S. Lord, III, Chief Judge.
A. Industria Termotecnica Campana, S.p.A.
Defendant ITC is a foreign corporation, organized under the laws of Italy, with its principal place of business in Naples. Defendant has no office, agents, or employees in the United States, and is not registered to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The sole basis of jurisdiction over the defendant is the attachment of certain drafts which the plaintiff alleges are the property of the defendant. These drafts were drawn on Girard under two irrevocable letters of credit, and were presented to Girard for payment by two Italian banks, Banco di Roma and Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
The irrevocable letters of credit were issued by Girard at the request of Lantz for the benefit of ITC, in order to facilitate Lantz's purchase of refrigerators which ITC manufactured in Italy. Under these letters of credit, Girard engaged itself to honor drafts at 180 days sight in connection with payment for the refrigerators. Accordingly, ITC drew a series of such drafts in July and August of 1972. These drafts became payable on various dates from January 22, 1973 through February 14, 1973.
After the drafts were drawn by ITC under Girard Letter of Credit No. 35502, they were endorsed in blank and delivered to the Naples office of Banco di Roma for collection. Banco di Roma forwarded each draft to Girard and requested that Girard accept the drafts and upon the applicable dates, credit the account of the head office of Banco di Roma with the proceeds.
Upon its receipt of each draft, Girard notified Banco di Roma that the drafts had been accepted and that the proceeds would be paid to it upon maturity, as instructed. Seven of these drafts drawn under Letter of Credit No. 35502 became due and payable on January 22 and January 23, 1973, and the total face amount of these seven drafts is $262,906.26. It is these drafts that are now in dispute.
According to the affidavits of Roberto Fincadi, General Manager of ITC, and of Vito Maffei, Assistant Representative in the United States for Banco di Roma, on November 24, 1972, ITC requested by letter that Banco di Roma discount these drafts. Pursuant to this request, Banco di Roma discounted the drafts and credited them toward the repayment by ITC of a previous one million dollar advance which Banco di Roma had made to ITC, in May, 1972. On December 13 and December 14, 1972, Banco di Roma issued official confirmation to ITC that the drafts had been credited in reduction of the loan, and at the same time, Banco di Roma released to ITC 580,760,000 lira which it had been holding as security since the loan was made in May.
C. Monte dei Paschi di Siena
Similarly, in August, 1972, four drafts were drawn by ITC under Letter of Credit No. 35638, in the aggregate amount of $63,377.51, due and payable on February 13, 1973. These checks were endorsed in blank and delivered to the Naples office of Monte dei Paschi di Siena for collection. Monte dei Paschi di Siena forwarded the drafts to Girard with the request that upon the due date, Girard credit the account of the Milan office of Monte dei Paschi di Siena with the proceeds. After receiving these drafts, Girard notified Monte dei Paschi di Siena that the drafts had been accepted.
According to the affidavits of Roberto Fincadi, General Manager of ITC, and of Lido Pasqui, identified as the legitimate representative of the Naples branch of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, on January 16, 1973, ITC requested that these drafts be discounted by Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and that the proceeds be used to repay partially advances amounting to two million dollars made to ITC by Monte dei Paschi di Siena in June, 1972. On ...