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KEENE v. MULTICORE SOLDERS LTD.

April 9, 1974

Elizabeth KEENE
v.
MULTICORE SOLDERS LTD., et al.


Luongo, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

Plaintiff Elizabeth Keene (Keene) instituted this suit for damages for harm allegedly caused to her by exposure, in the course of her employment in Pennsylvania, to ersin multicore solder manufactured, sold or distributed by defendant corporations. One of the defendants, Multicore Solders, Ltd. (Multicore), has moved, pursuant to F.R.Civ.P. 12(b), to dismiss the suit against it for lack of jurisdiction.

 Multicore is a British corporation which has its offices and manufacturing facilities in England. It does not maintain an office in Pennsylvania, and it does not directly sell its products here, but its products have been sold and used regularly in Pennsylvania for many years. Since 1958, Multicore's only sales in the United States have been to British Industries, Ltd., an unrelated New York corporation which serves as Multicore's exclusive sales agent for the United States under written agreement. The sales are actually made by a subsidiary of British Industries, Multicore Sales Corporation, also a New York corporation.

 Service was made on Multicore pursuant to the Pennsylvania long-arm statute. Multicore argues that its operations do not constitute "doing business" in Pennsylvania, a statutory prerequisite for obtaining Pennsylvania jurisdiction over a non-registered foreign corporation. Alternatively, it argues that if the statute by its terms reaches Multicore, the statute violates due process.

 At the outset, it is necessary to dispel the confusion as to which long-arm statute governs in these proceedings. On November 15, 1972, the legislature repealed Pennsylvania's two long-arm statutes, 15 P.S. § 2011 et seq., and 12 P.S. § 341 et seq., and in their place enacted 42 P.S. § 8301 et seq., effective on February 15, 1973. Plaintiff Keene filed her complaint on March 29, 1973, and process was served on Multicore on May 10, 1973. "While substantive rights are settled as of the time the cause [of action] arises, rights in procedural matters, such as jurisdiction and service of process, are determined by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action." Kilian v. Allegheny County Distributors, 409 Pa. 344, 350-351, 185 A.2d 517, 520 (1962). In this case, the complaint was filed and process was served after the new Pennsylvania long-arm statute took effect, therefore the new statute governs.

 The new Pennsylvania long-arm statute provides, in pertinent part:

 
"§ 8302. Nonqualified foreign corporations
 
(a) General rule. -- Any foreign corporation which shall have done any business in this Commonwealth without procuring a certificate of authority to do so from the Department of State as required by statute, shall be conclusively presumed to have designated the Department of State as its true and lawful attorney authorized to accept, on its behalf, service of process in any action arising within this Commonwealth. Service of process shall be made in the manner provided by section 8307 of this title (relating to procedure for service of process)."
 
* * *
 
"§ 8309. Acts affecting jurisdiction
 
(1) The doing by any person in this Commonwealth of a series of similar acts for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit or otherwise accomplishing an object.
 
(2) The doing of a single act in this Commonwealth for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit or otherwise accomplishing an object with the ...

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