(4) the incident in question occurred on or about September 19, 1990;
(5) in 1989, the year preceding the incident giving rise to this suit, employees of Disney traveled to Pittsburgh to conduct a business seminar at Thompson Corporation (id. at p. 6);
(6) from 1990 through 1993, a Disney representative or representatives visited locations throughout the eastern, central, and western Pennsylvania "for the purpose of college relations" (id. at pp. 6-8);
(7) from November, 1991 until at least March, 1993, representatives of Disney visited eastern, central, and western Pennsylvania "for the purposes of "professional staffing" (id. at p. 8);
(8) from March, 1989 through March, 1990, representatives of Disney's publicity staff visited eastern, central, and western Pennsylvania "for the purposes of publicity" (id. at pp. 8-9);
(9) Disney regularly promotes Disneyland Park through newspapers and magazines circulated in Pennsylvania and on television programs and commercials aired in Pennsylvania (id. at pp. 13-15);
(10) the Disney resort is marketed by distribution of brochures and other mailings containing promotional materials to travel agents (id. at p. 16); and
(11) Disney maintains a national "800" number for the use of travel agents only, which include Pennsylvania travel agents (id. at p. 13).
Based on the foregoing, this Court finds that the plaintiffs have demonstrated sufficient forum contacts on the part of Disney to permit this Court to exercise general jurisdiction.
Defendant's publicity, professional staffing, and college relations activities have been continuous and have extended throughout the Commonwealth. At least one of these activities began one year before plaintiff's accident took place on or about September 19, 1990. Others occurred during that year and the year immediately following. Further, even if Disney's visits to the Commonwealth "were indiscrete, short-term intervals, in selected locations solely for the purposes of college relations, professional staffing, or publicity," as defendant contends, the numerosity of these visits over such a short period of time establishes "continuous and systematic" contacts, not isolated contacts, with the forum state. See Provident National Bank v. California Federal Savings and Loan Ass'n, 819 F.2d 434, 437 (3d Cir. 1987) (citing Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414, 80 L. Ed. 2d 404, 104 S. Ct. 1868 (1984)).
The defendant's reliance on Wincek, Schulman, and Vacca, in support of its motion to dismiss, is misplaced and easily can be distinguished from the present case. First, Wincek did not concern Disney's public relations activities or "college relations" activities in the forum. The focus of Wincek was on advertising and on activities of defendant's parent company and subsidiaries. Further, Disney was not listed in any Illinois phone directory in Wincek, whereas in the present case, an "800" number was maintained for the use of Pennsylvania agents. Likewise, the Schulman decision focused on advertising activities, limited forum contacts five years prior to the incident giving rise to the suit, and on activities of the parent corporation. In contrast, the present case has extensive Disney public relations activities in Pennsylvania, advertising directed at Pennsylvania -- not the general public, and a toll-free telephone number for Pennsylvania travel agents which makes it easier for Pennsylvania residents to arrange travel accommodations at Walt Disney World. Similarly, in Vacca the discussion concentrated on a national advertising campaign and informational brochures sent to travel agents. The present case deals with a regional, not national, advertising campaign, an "800" telephone number for Pennsylvania travel agents which makes it more convenient for Pennsylvania residents to organize a visit to Walt Disney World, and pervasive public relations activities in Pennsylvania for the purposes of college relations, professional staffing, and publicity.
Additionally, defendant's reliance on Fields is ineffective. Fields prevented a plaintiff from asserting jurisdiction over a franchisor by suing the franchisee of a national franchise -- as such a result would be inconsistent with the requirements of due process. Instantly, no franchisor/franchisee relationship exists. Further, in Fields there is no mention of "college relations," "public relations," or "professional staffing activities" in the forum state.
The evidence establishes that this Court may properly exercise general personal jurisdiction over the non-resident corporate defendant Disney. It is not unreasonable for Disney to be expected to be "hauled into court" in the Commonwealth. World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 291, 100 S. Ct. 559, 564, 62 L. Ed. 2d 490 (1980).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
AND NOW, this 28th day of June, 1993, for the reasons set forth in the accompanying Memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion of defendant, Walt Disney World Company, to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) through Rule 12(b)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, is DENIED.
BY THE COURT:
Harvey Bartle, III, J.