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MCCRORY CORPORATION v. GIRARD RUBBER CORPORATION (06/14/73)

decided: June 14, 1973.

MCCRORY CORPORATION
v.
GIRARD RUBBER CORPORATION, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, No. 286 A of 1972, in case of McCrory Corporation v. Girard Rubber Corporation.

COUNSEL

Norman H. Stark, with him James D. Cullen, and MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton, for appellant.

Wallace J. Knox, with him Knox, Graham, Pearson, McLaughlin & Sennett, Inc., for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Hoffman

[ 225 Pa. Super. Page 46]

This appeal involves the question of whether appellant, a foreign corporation, was so "doing business" in Pennsylvania as to make it amenable to suit in the Commonwealth. This is a case of first impression in this Commonwealth in which we must specifically determine whether appellant's activities constituted "indirect shipments" within the meaning of 15 P.S. § 2011 C of the Business Corporation Law, as amended in 1968.

On June 29, 1967, Rexford Daniel Fenton, by his parents, instituted a suit in Trespass against McCrory Corporation, hereinafter "McCrory". The minor boy lost an eye while playing with toy arrows purchased from defendant's

[ 225 Pa. Super. Page 47]

    store. The case was tried on a theory of strict liability in tort under the Restatement of Torts (2d), § 402A. The evidence adduced at trial disclosed that the minor-plaintiff had been injured by a toy arrow having a defective rubber suction cup tip. A verdict in the amount of $50,000 was awarded to the plaintiffs.

Following the entry of judgment, McCrory filed a Complaint in Assumpsit, on January 31, 1972, in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, against Girard Rubber Corporation, hereinafter "Girard". McCrory sought indemnification from Girard, which had manufactured the suction cup tip for the toy arrows. Girard filed preliminary objections alleging that the Pennsylvania court "lacks jurisdiction because the defendant is a corporation not doing business within Pennsylvania." The lower court dismissed these objections, and this appeal followed.*fn1

Girard contends that it did not have sufficient contacts with Pennsylvania to warrant jurisdiction over it. It argues that no actual contact existed between the parties in Pennsylvania for it manufactured and sold the rubber tips to Rollin Wilson Company, a Tennessee corporation, which in turn sold the finished product to McCrory. There is evidence that Girard fills orders by telephone and through the mails to customers in Pennsylvania; that 5% of its gross sales are transacted with Pennsylvania customers; that orders are shipped into or through the Commonwealth by truck and at Girard's expense; and, that the suction rubber tips were constructed specifically for the purpose of being attached to toy arrows which would be sold in their finished state

[ 225 Pa. Super. Page 48]

    to outlets around the nation. Despite these contacts, appellant contends that this State's "long arm" statute (§ 2011) does not reach out to ...


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