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JONES v. PHILPOTT

December 28, 1988

MARY M. JONES, and FLOYD JONES, her husband, Plaintiffs
v.
WILLIAM H. PHILPOTT, M.D., PHILPOTT MEDICAL CENTER, INC., an Oklahoma Corporation and HARBORSIDE HOSPITAL, a Florida Corporation, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SMITH

 D. BROOKS SMITH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 A motion for summary judgment by defendant Harborside Hospital is presently before the Court. Harborside contends that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over it.

 The motion will be granted for reasons set forth below.

 I.

 Plaintiff Mary Jones sought medical attention in early 1983, when she began experiencing acute nervousness, insomnia, difficulty in concentrating, and memory lapses. Dr. Roy Kerry, one of Mrs. Jones' treating physicians, diagnosed her as suffering from various allergies in May of 1983, and referred her to defendant Dr. Philpott in Florida.

 Arrangements were made by plaintiffs with Dr. Philpott for Mrs. Jones to travel to Florida in order to receive treatment by Dr. Philpott. Mrs. Jones went to St. Petersburg, Florida, on July 13, 1983, where she was interviewed and examined by Dr. Philpott at defendant Philpott Medical Center. She was admitted that same day to the "ecological wing" of Harborside Hospital, which is a segregated area of Harborside used exclusively by Dr. Philpott and his associates for his patients.

 Mrs. Jones was a patient in the "ecological wing" until August 13, 1983. She remained in Florida following her discharge and was treated as an out-patient on a daily basis at Philpott Medical Center until she returned to her home in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in September of 1983.

 Plaintiffs claim in their Complaint that Dr. Philpott was negligent in administering insulin to Mrs. Jones, which purportedly caused a brain deficit with resultant loss of memory. The claims against Philpott Medical Center and Harborside Hospital are predicated on the alleged agency of Dr. Philpott at all times during his treatment of Mrs. Jones.

 This Court entered an Order on December 10, 1987, denying a motion by defendants Dr. Philpott and Philpott Medical Center to dismiss the claims against them pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 5524(2) and the Due Process Clause due to lack of personal jurisdiction over them. It was held that it was reasonable to infer that Dr. Philpott and Philpott Medical Center purposefully availed themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in Pennsylvania and therefore could expect to be haled into court here.

 As has been noted, plaintiffs' claims against Harborside Hospital are predicated entirely on the theory that Dr. Philpott was acting as its agent at all relevant times. No evidence has been presented by plaintiffs that Harborside itself has ever purposefully availed itself in any other context of the privilege of conducting business in Pennsylvania. If this Court does have personal jurisdiction over Harborside Hospital in this case, it has it only by virtue of the fact that Dr. Philpott was acting as Harborside Hospital's agent when Dr. Philpott purposefully availed himself of the privilege of doing business in Pennsylvania. If there is no evidence that Dr. Philpott was acting as its agent, summary judgment will have to be entered in favor of Harborside Hospital.

 II.

 Summary judgment is appropriate when:

 
. . . the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving ...

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