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EVA REIFINGER v. HOLIDAY INNS (06/10/83)

filed: June 10, 1983.

EVA REIFINGER
v.
HOLIDAY INNS, INC., APPELLANT V. WILSON & SAVAGE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY



No. 2366 Philadelphia 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, Civil Section, of Philadelphia County, June Term, 1978, No. 3919.

COUNSEL

Gary Keith Feldbaum, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Rosalind T. Kaplan, Philadelphia, for Reifinger, appellee.

Frank C. Bender, Philadelphia, for Wilson & Savage Development Co., appellee.

Cavanaugh, Rowley and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 148]

This is an appeal from an order of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of Wilson & Savage Development Company (hereafter "Wilson & Savage"), additional

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 149]

    defendant-appellee,*fn1 and against Holiday Inns, Inc. (hereafter "Holiday Inns"), the original defendant-appellant. We reverse.

Plaintiff Eva Reifinger instituted this action in Pennsylvania against Holiday Inns for damages arising from personal injuries allegedly suffered in March, 1978. Plaintiff avers that her injuries occurred as a result of Holiday Inns' negligence that caused her to fall during her stay at the Holiday Inn in St. George, Bermuda. Plaintiff's complaint was filed on September 11, 1978. On April 20, 1980, appellant joined Wilson & Savage as an additional defendant, alleging that Wilson & Savage's "agents, servants, workmen and/or employees" had negligently or recklessly caused Mrs. Reifinger's injuries. Wilson & Savage is alleged to be "located" in Tennessee. On May 16, 1980, Wilson & Savage filed preliminary objections alleging, inter alia, that "[t]he Courts of Pennsylvania have no jurisdiction, either personal or subject matter, over the Additional Defendant." The Honorable Edward Rosenwald, to whom the case had been assigned for trial, overruled appellee's preliminary objections on October 22, 1980.

The parties proceeded through discovery and, on three separate occasions, the case was scheduled for trial. In all three instances, however, trial was continued just prior to its scheduled commencement. In January, 1982, Judge Rosenwald was reassigned to the Criminal Section of the Trial Division of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. This case was then reassigned for trial to the Honorable Paul M. Chalfin. In February, 1982, trial was scheduled to commence on June 28, 1982.

On May 26, 1982, barely one month before the scheduled trial date, Appellee Wilson & Savage filed a motion for summary judgment. The sole ground raised by appellee was that the Pennsylvania courts lacked in personam ...


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