Trust. See id. at 29-30. Subjecting Columbia, or any of the other
fund 1,200 members to jurisdiction in Pennsylvania on this basis
runs counter to Gehling's recognition that a college or university
may have contact outside of its home state not directly related
to its educational purpose without necessarily subjecting itself to
general jurisdiction in another state. See Gehling,
773 F.2d at 543 (holding that joint program with Pennsylvania college that
did not generate education-related income for defendant is not a
systematic and continuous contact).
Neither does Columbia's participation in sporting events in the
Commonwealth establish a sufficient nexus with this forum: the
plaintiff has not produced any evidence suggesting that Columbia's
athletic activities are focused on Pennsylvania rather than a
general involvement in interstate collegiate sports that includes
events in this state. See Stainbrook v. Kent, 771 F. Supp. 988, 990
(D.Minn. 1991) (holding that Louisiana State University's
participation in basketball tournament in Minnesota did not subject
it to personal jurisdiction in that state).
The plaintiff also alleges that Columbia's faculty and employees
regularly travel to the Commonwealth to attend conferences,
deliver lectures, and act as visiting professors. Because the
defendant did not provide specific information on the quantity of
such activities in response to the plaintiff's interrogatories,
the court will assume, as does the plaintiff, that these
activities are extensive. However, as in the case of athletic
events, the plaintiff has not produced any evidence that suggests
that Columbia or its employees have singled out Pennsylvania as
opposed to generally participating in interstate academic
activities that may take place in the Commonwealth. Cf.
Gelineau v. New York Univ. Hosp., 375 F. Supp. 661 (D.N.J. 1974)
(holding that New York hospital was not subject to general jurisdiction in
New Jersey even though some of its physicians were licensed to
practice in, and some of its employees resided in, New Jersey).
Similarly, there is nothing in the record to indicate that
Columbia's research contracts and clinical trial agreements with
Pennsylvania pharmaceutical firms are a result of Columbia's
purposeful or extensive availment of this forum.
Finally, the plaintiff argues that courts in this Circuit have
previously held that Columbia is subject to general jurisdiction.
However, the cases cited by the plaintiff do not stand for that
proposition. In Wright v. Columbia University, 520 F. Supp. 789,
795 (E.D.Pa. 1981), Columbia did not challenge the court's
jurisdiction, but rather argued that venue was improper. The court
found that venue was controlled by the then-applicable version of
28 U.S.C. § 1391(c), which provided that a corporation may be sued
in any judicial district in which it is "doing business." In
holding that venue was proper, the court noted that the venue
inquiry "demands a greater quantum of contacts than suffices to
establish jurisdiction." Id. However, Wright involved
a student who challenged Columbia's decision to bar him from its
intercollegiate football program for medical reasons. For purposes
of that case, the court narrowly defined Columbia's business as
recruiting for its athletic programs, and all the Pennsylvania
contacts examined by the court related directly to the school's
recruitment of the student, implicating specific rather than
general jurisdiction. In Wright, unlike in the instant case,
Columbia purposefully directed activities to Pennsylvania in its
pursuit of the student: its football coaches traveled to
Pennsylvania to court the student, and the school arranged and
financed the student's visit to its campus. See id.
Wright, therefore, is not persuasive because it only indirectly
addressed specific, rather than general, jurisdiction. The other cases cited
by the plaintiff do not discuss jurisdiction at all. In Beachboard
v. Trustees of Columbia University, 815 F.2d 693 (3d Cir. 1987),
the Third Circuit affirmed the lower court without comment; the
court's opinion is unavailable. Although Columbia was a defendant
in United States v. Brown University, 5 F.3d 658 (3d Cir. 1993),
neither that opinion, nor the lower court's decision that the
Third Circuit reversed, see 805 F. Supp. 288 (E.D.Pa. 1991),
contains any discussion of jurisdiction.
In sum, all the contacts upon which the plaintiff relies to
support the exercise of general jurisdiction over Columbia are
those in which any nationally prominent university would engage.
The plaintiff's theory sweeps too broadly, as it would render
Columbia and any similar institution subject to general
jurisdiction in most, if not all, states. Because there is nothing
in the record to indicate that Columbia has purposefully directed
its activities to this forum such that it would reasonably
anticipate being haled into court here, the exercise of general
jurisdiction is not appropriate.
2. Specific Jurisdiction
The plaintiff argues that this court has specific jurisdiction
over Columbia by virtue of the acts of Dr. Gersony and his
associates. However, even assuming that these acts may be
attributed to Columbia, they do not support the exercise of
The weight of authority holds that when treatment is rendered
outside the forum state, a nonresident medical provider cannot be
subject to specific jurisdiction.
When one seeks out services which are personal in nature, such as
those rendered by . . . physicians, dentists, [or] hospitals, . .
. and travels to the locality where he knows the services will
actually be rendered, he must realized that the services are not
directed to the impact on any particular place, but are directed
to the needy person himself. . . .
It is clear that when a client or a patient travels to receive
professional services without having been solicited (which is
prohibited by most professional codes of ethics), then the client,
who originally traveled to seek the services apparently not
available at home, ought to expect that he will have to travel
again if he thereafter complains that the services sought by him
in the foreign jurisdiction were therein rendered improperly.
Gelineau, 375 F. Supp. at 667; see also, e.g., Wright v. Yackley,
459 F.2d 287, 290 (9th Cir. 1972) (holding that there is no
purposeful availment when treatment is provided outside the forum
because the residency of the recipient of medical treatment is
"irrelevant and incidental to the benefits provided by the defendant
in his location"); Bakaj v. Levine, 733 F. Supp. 951 (E.D.Pa. 1990)
(exercise of specific jurisdiction over New Jersey dentists would
violate due process clause); Walters v. St. Elizabeth Hosp. Med.
Ctr., 543 F. Supp. 559 (W.D.Pa. 1982) (same holding regarding
out-of-state medical provider); Kurtz v. Draur, 434 F. Supp. 958
(E.D.Pa. 1977) (same); Jamerson v. Buffalo Gen. Hosp., Civ. A. No.
94-264, 1995 WL 904576, at *2-4 (W.D.Pa. Mar. 14, 1995) (same).
Here, the plaintiff does not allege that Dr. Gersony initiated
contact with him and his family regarding providing treatment to
William.*fn3 Dr. Gersony performed surgery and treated the
decedent in New York; he never traveled to the Commonwealth for the
purposes of rendering medical care to William. The only medical
treatment that William arguably received in Pennsylvania by a
employee was the July telephone interview between William and
one of Dr. Gersony's associates; this conversation was initiated
by the Gallants. Chicosky v. Presbyterian Med. Ctr.,
979 F. Supp. 316, 319 (D.N.J. 1997) (holding that a single
telephone call in which medical services were allegedly rendered
was not a forum-directed activity; noting that medical services
are directed to the person who seeks treatment rather than the
forum). The other contacts upon which the plaintiff relies are
incidental telephone and mail communications between Dr. Gersony
and the Gallants. "The weight of authority among the courts of
appeal is that minimal communication between the defendant and
the plaintiff in the forum state, without more, will not subject
the defendant to the jurisdiction of that state's court system."
Imo Indus., Inc. v. Kiekert AG, 155 F.3d 254, 259 n. 3 (3d Cir. 1998)
(citing cases therein); see also Jamerson, 1995 WL 904576 at *2-3
(holding that arranging for tests in Pennsylvania and making telephone
calls and sending mail related to treatment were not minimum contacts
allowing the exercise of specific jurisdiction over out-of-state
Relying on Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984), the plaintiff
also argues that because defendant's alleged actions caused damage
in this forum, the exercise of specific jurisdiction is proper.
"Generally speaking, under Calder an intentional tort directed
at the plaintiff and having sufficient impact upon it in the forum
may suffice to enhance otherwise insufficient contacts with the
forum[.]" Imo Indus., 155 F.3d at 260. However, in the Third
Circuit, application of Calder requires satisfaction of a three
First, the defendant must have committed an intentional tort.
Second, the plaintiff must have felt the brunt of the
harm caused by that tort in the forum, such that the
forum can be said to be the focal point of the harm
suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the tort. Third,
the defendant must have expressly aimed his tortious
conduct at the forum, such that the forum can be said to
be the focal point of the tortious activity.
Id. at 256. Here, the plaintiff fails the first and third