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BEATRICE FOODS COMPANY v. PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ (12/10/82)

filed: December 10, 1982.

BEATRICE FOODS COMPANY
v.
PROCTOR & SCHWARTZ, INC. AND THE CELOTEX CORPORATION AND ECLIPSE, INC. AND EASTON WHOLESALE CO., INC. AND JAMES A HILL, T/A JAMES A. HILL, CONTRACTORS APPEAL OF THE CELOTEX CORPORATION



NOS. 365 and 366 PHILADELPHIA, 1981, Appeal from the Order of January 13, 1981, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division, at No. 4417 June Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Plevyak, West Chester, for appellant.

Christopher C. Fallon, Jr., Philadelphia, for Beatrice Foods, appellee.

Louis Evan Bricklin, Philadelphia, for Proctor & Schwartz, et al., appellees.

Brosky, Wieand and Beck, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 355]

Appellee Beatrice Foods Co. ("Beatrice") is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. Beatrice owns and operates a manufacturing and packaging business in Berlin, Maryland. In June, 1977, a fire broke out in the Berlin plant causing extensive damage to Beatrice's property and business. Beatrice initiated a suit in Philadelphia against two defendants, Proctor & Schwartz, Inc., the manufacturer of the equipment in which the fire allegedly began, and Celotex Corporation ("Celotex"), a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Tampa, Florida which supplied the insulation material that allegedly caused the fire to spread rapidly through the plant. Celotex thereafter sought to join James A. Hill, an individual contractor who operates his own business in Delaware, who installed the Celotex insulation material. Celotex also moved to dismiss the suit on the grounds of forum non conveniens. Hill filed preliminary objections challenging the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania court over him. The court below sustained the preliminary objections of Hill and denied Celotex's motion for dismissal. Celotex now appeals both orders.

Celotex raises two issues on appeal. The first is whether the lower court erred in ruling that Hill is not subject to the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania court under the Commonwealth's long-arm statute. The second issue is whether the lower court properly refused under the Commonwealth's long-arm statute to dismiss appellee Beatrice's suit against Celotex on the grounds of forum non conveniens.

On the first issue, Celotex argues that Hill, who owns property in Pennsylvania, has brought materials here, and has shipped materials through this state, is therefore subject

[ 309 Pa. Super. Page 356]

    to the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania under the terms of 42 Pa.C.S. § 5322:

§ 5322. Bases of personal jurisdiction over persons outside this Commonwealth.

(a) General rule. -- A tribunal of this Commonwealth may exercise personal jurisdiction over a person (or the personal representative of a deceased individual who would be subject to jurisdiction under this subsection if not deceased) who acts directly or by an ...


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