The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEINER
In disposing of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction the allegations complained of must be taken as true. In Re Arthur Treacher's Franchisee Litigation, 92 F.R.D. 398, 409-410 (E.D. Pa. 1981). Indeed, "the plaintiff is entitled to every favorable inference which can be drawn from the pleadings, affidavits and exhibits." Id. at 410. Nevertheless, it is well established that "once the court's in personam jurisdiction is challenged by the defendant, the plaintiff has the ultimate burden of proving that the non-resident defendant's activities in the forum state are sufficient to bring it within the reach of the court's jurisdiction." Strick Corp. v. A.J.F. Warehouse Distrib., Inc., 532 F. Supp. 951, 953 (E.D. Pa. 1982) (citations omitted).
To determine if personal jurisdiction exists, the court must look to the law of the state in which it sits, Bucks County Playhouse v. Bradshaw, 577 F. Supp. 1203, 1206 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
It is well settled under Pennsylvania law that a court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant only so long as there exists "minimum contacts" between the defendant and the forum state. Kenny v. Alexson Equipment Co., 432 A.2d 974, 980, 495 Pa. 107 (1981) citing International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 90 L. Ed. 95, 66 S. Ct. 154 (1945); see also 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 5308.
The concept of minimum contacts serves two purposes. It protects the defendant against the burdens of litigation in a distant or inconvenient forum, and, more importantly, it ensures that the states, through their courts, do not reach out beyond the limits imposed on them by the Constitution. World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 292, 62 L. Ed. 2d 490, 100 S. Ct. 559 (1980). Under minimum contact analysis, the Supreme Court has made clear certain factors which must be considered: (1) has the defendant purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state; Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253, 2 L. Ed. 2d 1283, 78 S. Ct. 1228 (1958); (2) did the cause of action arise from the defendant's activities within the state; McGee v. International Life Insurance Co., 355 U.S. 220, 223, 2 L. Ed. 2d 223, 78 S. Ct. 199 (1957); and (3) were the acts of the defendant in the forum state substantial enough to make the exercise of jurisdiction over him reasonable. International Shoe v. Washington, supra 326 U.S. at 317; see also Rush v. Savchuk, 444 U.S. 320, 329, 62 L. Ed. 2d 516, 100 S. Ct. 571 (1980). Consideration of these factors is designed to test whether the "defendant's conduct and connection with the forum state [was] such that he should reasonably anticipate being hauled into court there." Worldwide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, supra 444 U.S. at 297.
McKeithan has presented this court with an unopposed affidavit that he is and has been a lifelong citizen of Connecticut, has never worked in nor made his home in Pennsylvania, and that on the trip on which the automobile collision occurred in Maryland, he did not pass through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Therefore, we find that the plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden of proving "minimum contacts" with the forum state by McKeithan and we grant the motion to dismiss for lack of in personam jurisdiction.
We note that dismissing the complaint against the defendant McKeithan will not prejudice the plaintiffs in that this action may still be brought in Maryland since the statute of limitation for personal injury civil actions is three years under Md Ann. Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-101.
The motion of the defendant Ralph McKeithan to dismiss is GRANTED.