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ZWICK v. REVCO DRUG STORE

March 6, 1984

MILDRED P. ZWICK and WILLIAM ZWICK, her husband, Plaintiffs
v.
REVCO DRUG STORE, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 580 F. Supp.]

 ORDER

 In accordance with the accompanying Opinion it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint is hereby DENIED, and the action is DISMISSED for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Clerk is DIRECTED to mark this matter CLOSED.

 WEBER. D.J.

 Plaintiffs have filed a personal injury suit grounded on diversity jurisdiction, but have had difficulty identifying the proper defendant or defendants. It is alleged that plaintiff Mildred Zwick unwittingly became trapped in a Revco drug store in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, after closing time. While trying to escape from the store she set off the alarm. Still trapped inside she allegedly suffered physical and emotional injury when the alarm rang continuously for the next one and one-half hours. Her husband claims a loss of consortium.

 Plaintiffs originally filed suit against "Revco Drug Store". Defendant responded in its answer with the information that the entity which owns and operates the Mt. Airy store is "Revco Discount Drug Centers of North Carolina, Inc.". Defendant further asserted that this court has no personal jurisdiction over Revco of North Carolina.

 Plaintiffs sought leave to amend their complaint on two occasions, eventually identifying three separate defendants and setting forth a full statement of jurisdictional allegations of citizenship and amount in controversy. The three defendants identified in the proposed amended complaint are Revco Discount Drug Centers, Inc., Revco Discount Drug Centers of North Carolina, Inc., and Revco Discount Drug Centers of Ohio, Inc.

 Defendant has opposed the motion to amend and has moved for summary judgment on lack of personal jurisdiction. Defendant has submitted an affidavit asserting that Revco of North Carolina is incorporated in North Carolina, has offices in Ohio, and does not do business in Pennsylvania.

 ANALYSIS

 Although plaintiffs allege in their proposed amended complaint that Revco of North Carolina is subject to personal jurisdiction because it does business in Pennsylvania, they have provided no evidentiary material to support this allegation.

 Plaintiffs have provided evidence that Revco Drug, the reputed parent corporation, distributes products in Pennsylvania and is therefore doing business in the Commonwealth. This is not denied by the defendant. The question is whether activity by a parent corporation in a forum will subject a subsidiary corporation to personal jurisdiction.

 Usually this issue arises in the reverse situation; an attempt to attribute the acts of a subsidiary to the parent for purposes of acquiring personal jurisdiction. E.g. Escude Cruz v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., 619 F.2d 902 (1st Cir. 1980); Mizokami Bros. of Arizona, Inc. v. Baychem Corp., 556 F.2d 975 (9th Cir. 1977); Lakota Girl Scout Council, Inc. v. Havey Fund-Raising Management, Inc., 519 F.2d 634 (8th Cir. 1975); Product Promotions, Inc. v. Cousteau, 495 F.2d 483 (5th Cir. 1974). However, the situation presented by the instant case has been addressed previously. Uston v. Grand Resorts, Inc., 564 F.2d 1217 (9th Cir. 1977); ...


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