No. 80-3-759, Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at Nos. 602 and 603 October Term, 1978 Affirming the Decrees of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division Dated December 8, 1977 and December 6, 1977, at Nos. 723 and 724 February Term, 1975.
Herman J. Obert, Jerrold P. Anders, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Henry B. Fitzpatrick, Jr., Philadelphia, for Gerard M. Kenny & Kathleen Kenny, and Edmund Kollhoff and Helen Kollhoff.
Joseph P. Green, Philadelphia, for Alexson Equip. Co.
Michael P. O'Connor, Anthony J. Damiano, Philadelphia, for Thos. Lindstrom & Co.
Elizabeth M. Iannelli, Philadelphia, for Clyde Iron Works, Microdot Co. and AMCA Int'l. Corp.
Edward J. Marcantonio, Philadelphia, for Amer. Tubular Elevator Co.
Morton F. Daller, Philadelphia, for Int'l. Brotherhood of Operating Engineers, Local 542.
Adrian R. King, Philadelphia, for Wm. M. Anderson Co.
Austin Hogan, Philadelphia, for Piracci Constr. Co.
Nix, Justice. Roberts, J., filed a concurring opinion. Larsen and Kauffman, JJ., concurred in the result. O'Brien, C. J., did not participate in the consideration or decision in this case.
Gerard M. Kenny (Kenny) and his wife, Kathleen Kenny, instituted suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County as a result of injuries sustained by Kenny on November
, 1973 while riding on a construction elevator powered from ground level by a hoist. The elevator dropped from a high elevation at a construction site in Philadelphia.
Edmund Kollhoff (Kollhoff) and his wife, Helen Kollhoff, also instituted suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County for injuries sustained by Kollhoff as a result of the same occurrence while riding on the elevator with Kenny.
Kenny and Kollhoff were a pipefitter and sheetmetal worker, respectively, in the employ of Wm. M. Anderson Company (Anderson) which was engaged in construction of the Federal Court Building in Philadelphia. Their respective complaints, which were identical except as to personal data of the individual plaintiffs, named as defendant Alexson Equipment Company (Alexson) (appellee herein). The complaints alleged that Alexson had leased the hoist elevator to their employer Anderson.
Alexson joined Piracci Construction Co., a Maryland corporation, as an additional defendant alleging it was the seller of the hoist which powered the elevator. Thereafter, Alexson petitioned the court and was granted leave to join Dominic A. Piracci, Sr., (Piracci, Sr.) (appellant herein) as an additional defendant on the grounds that Alexson had purchased the hoist from Piracci, Sr. rather than Piracci Construction Co.
On December 23, 1976, Alexson filed a praecipe pursuant to which a Writ of Summons was issued to join Piracci, Sr. as an additional defendant. The sheriff served the writ by registered mail to the Secretary of the Commonwealth in Harrisburg and to Piracci, Sr. at 2552 Woodbrook Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland, pursuant to the Long-Arm Statute then in effect.*fn1
On January 24, 1977, Piracci Sr. filed a preliminary objection to the Writ of Summons on the ground that the Court
of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County was without personal jurisdiction over him. The Court of Common Pleas dismissed the preliminary objection and denied the motion to dismiss the Writ of Summons. Consolidated appeals from the orders of the Court of Common Pleas were filed in the Superior Court and heard by a panel of that court which affirmed. 428 A.2d 253. We granted allowance of appeal and now reverse.
Piracci, Sr. is an individual who is not and has never been a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At all times relevant to this action he was and continues to be a resident of Maryland. Piracci, Sr. does not and has never done business in Pennsylvania nor has he maintained an office or usual place of business here.
The hoist alleged by Alexson to have been defective and to have caused injuries to Kenny and Kollhoff, was sold by Piracci, Sr. to Alexson. The sale was negotiated in Maryland where delivery and payment were made. Alexson maintained an office in Baltimore, Maryland to which Piracci, Sr. invoiced the sale of the hoist. Alexson also maintained offices in Gloucester City, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
The record fails to disclose what use Alexson made of the hoist after it was purchased from Piracci, Sr. on January 21, 1972. However, almost eleven months later, it appears that the hoist was to be shipped by Alexson, from its Gloucester City, New Jersey location, where it apparently was then located, to Anderson in Philadelphia, where the accident occurred.
The facts upon which the lower courts relied as the basis for bringing Piracci, Sr. within the reach of the Long-Arm Statute was that the check with which Alexson paid Piracci, Sr. for the hoist was drawn on a Philadelphia bank and was imprinted with the address of Alexson's Philadelphia office. The lower courts reasoned that Piracci, Sr. was, thus, put on notice that the hoist would be shipped to Philadelphia. The Court of ...