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DOMMEL'S HOTEL, INC. v. EAST WEST HELICOPTER

January 10, 1984

DOMMEL'S HOTEL, INC.
v.
EAST WEST HELICOPTER, INC. and W. BARRY PRUSS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: TROUTMAN

 TROUTMAN, J.

 Plaintiff, Dommel's Hotel, Inc., (Dommel's) brought this action against defendants East West Helicopter, Inc. (East West) and W. Barry Pruss (Pruss) alleging breach of contract, negligence and fraud arising out of the defendants' sale of a helicopter to the plaintiff. The defendants have moved to dismiss the action for lack of in personam jurisdiction. The relevant facts are not in dispute.

 Plaintiff, Dommel's, is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Defendant, East West, is an Ohio corporation with its principal place of business in Harrison, Ohio. It has been in the business of selling, servicing and repairing helicopters and helicopter parts since its founding in 1976. Defendant, Pruss is the president of East West and has held that position since 1978. Prior to that time he was vice president of the company. He resides in Aurora, Indiana.

 East West has never conducted or solicited business in the State of Pennsylvania. Nor has Pruss so acted on his own behalf or that of East West. Neither defendant has ever:

 1. owned or rented any real or personal property in Pennsylvania;

 2. maintained an office or place of business in Pennsylvania;

 3. obtained a telephone listing in Pennsylvania;

 4. maintained bank accounts or records in Pennsylvania;

 5. paid any taxes or filed any government reports in Pennsylvania; or

 6. advertised in any Pennsylvania publications.

 Turning our attention to the specifics of the matter at bar, it is agreed that all actions relating to the sales agreement in question took place in Ohio. In October, 1980, Bruce Dodd, a pilot for Dommel's, inquired about the possibility of purchasing a helicopter from East West. Following this initial contact, Dodd visited East West's plant in Harrison, Ohio, to inspect the helicopter and review certain records pertaining to it. Dodd's visit to Ohio was followed by another visit there by Robert Dommel on or about October 24, 1980. At that time, Dommel negotiated the terms of the agreement for the purchase of the helicopter. An agreement for a purchase price of $169,000.00 was prepared and executed by Dommel and Pruss that day. Dommel also gave Pruss a $20,000.00 down payment.

 Defendants contend that dismissal is warranted because their contacts with Pennsylvania are insufficient for this Court to assert personal jurisdiction over them. Plaintiff, conceding a dearth of contacts, insists that in personam jurisdiction is appropriate solely because "the helicopter was sold with full knowledge and intention that it should be principally used ...


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