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MARY NISSLEY v. JLG INDUSTRIES (11/19/82)

filed: November 19, 1982.

MARY NISSLEY, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF RUSSEL K. NISSLEY, DECEASED, AND MARY NISSLEY, INDIVIDUALLY
v.
JLG INDUSTRIES, INC. AND H.J. WILLIAMS CO., INC., AND HELGESTEEL CORPORATION. APPEAL OF HELGESTEEL CORPORATION



No. 178 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Civil Action, Law, at No. 118 August Term 1977.

COUNSEL

Joel David Smith, Lancaster, for appellant.

David C. Keiter, York, for Nissley, appellees.

Christopher S. Underhill, Lancaster, for JLG, appellee.

Cavanaugh, Cirillo and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Hoffman

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 559]

Appellant contends that the lower court erred in finding it subject to jurisdiction pursuant to Pennsylvania's Long-Arm

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 560]

Statute, 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 5322(a)(4)*fn1 and (b).*fn2 Because we find appellant's contacts with Pennsylvania insufficient to establish jurisdiction, we reverse the lower court.

On March 2, 1976, decedent was crushed to death between the basket of a man-lift (cherry picker) he was operating and a steel beam. On August 18, 1977, Mary Nissley, decedent's widow, filed suit against JLG Industries, Inc. (JLG), manufacturer of the man-lift. On March 4, 1980, the lower court granted JLG's petition to join both previous owners of the man-lift, H.J. Williams Co., and appellant, Helgesteel Corporation, as additional defendants. Appellant, a Wisconsin corporation, challenged the complaint alleging lack of personal jurisdiction. The lower court, on December 31, 1980, found appellant subject to Pennsylvania's jurisdiction and pursuant to Pa.R.App.P. 311(b), certified that the question of personal jurisdiction presented a substantial issue of jurisdiction, thus permitting this appeal.

The assertion of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident must fall within the terms of the state long-arm statute and must meet the constitutional standards of due process. Monroeville Land Co., Inc. v. Sonnenblick-Goldman Corp. of Western Pennsylvania, 247 Pa. Superior Ct. 61, 371 A.2d 1326 (1977); Action Industries, Inc. v. Wiedeman, 236 Pa. Superior Ct. 447, 346 A.2d 798 (1975). Because the reach

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 561]

    of the Pennsylvania Long-Arm Statute is "co-extensive with requirements of due process under the Fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution," our controlling consideration here is "whether appellant had sufficient minimum contacts with this forum to make the exercise of jurisdiction permissible." Bev-Mark, Inc. v. Summerfield GMC Truck Co., 268 Pa. Superior Ct. 74, 78, 407 A.2d 443, 445 (1979). Due process requires that the defendant have "certain minimum contacts with [the forum] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend ...


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