United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
December 8, 2005.
CENTRIA, a partnership, Plaintiff,
PCC CONSTRUCTION COMPONENTS, INC., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM STANDISH, Senior District Judge
In summary, the complaint in this diversity action alleges the
(1) Plaintiff, Centria, is a manufacturer of metal building
products and systems with a place of business in Moon Township,
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania;
(2) Defendant, PCC Construction Components, Inc., is a
contractor with a principal place of business in Gaithersburg,
(3) On March 16, 2004, the parties entered into an agreement
pursuant to which defendant agreed to pay plaintiff the sum of
$105,000 for building materials supplied to defendant by
plaintiff for construction projects described as Devilbliss and
Dulles Town Center;*fn1 and (4) Defendant made payments to plaintiff totaling $26,000
pursuant to the March 16, 2004 agreement; however, since
mid-2004, defendant has failed to make any scheduled
Plaintiff asserts claims against defendant for breach of
contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing and unjust enrichment.
Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) (2). With respect to
general jurisdiction, defendant notes that plaintiff's complaint
fails to allege "continuous and systematic contacts" between
defendant and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Therefore,
defendant contends that this Court lacks general jurisdiction
over it.*fn3 As to specific jurisdiction,*fn4 defendant contends that the allegations in the complaint concerning
plaintiff's supply of materials to defendant, the parties' March
16, 2004 agreement and defendant's payments to plaintiff pursuant
to the March 16th agreement are insufficient to show that
defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of doing
business in Pennsylvania. Thus, defendant maintains that this
Court also lacks specific jurisdiction over it.
In response to defendant's motion to dismiss, plaintiff asserts
that the Court has jurisdiction over defendant "by virtue of the
fact that [defendant] was a dealer of [plaintiff's] material."
(Pl's Answer to Motion, ¶ 3). Nevertheless, plaintiff has chosen
not to oppose defendant's motion to dismiss. Instead, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), or, in the alternative, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), plaintiff moves for the transfer this action to
the United States District Court for the District of Maryland "to
obviate any protracted dispute over jurisdiction and in
recognition that [defendant's] principal place of business is in
the State of Maryland."*fn5 (Pl's Brief in Supp., p. 2). Defendant opposes plaintiff's motion to transfer this action to
the District of Maryland. Although defendant concedes that the
Court may transfer an action to another district even in the
absence of personal jurisdiction, defendant contends that a
transfer of this case would not be in "the interest of justice."
(Df's Brief in Opp., p. 2). Specifically, defendant contends that
"[plaintiff] should not be rewarded for its decision to file this
action here by a transfer when it knew, or reasonably should have
known, that there was no basis for personal jurisdiction in
Pennsylvania." (Df's Brief in Opp., pp. 4-5).
After consideration, the Court finds defendant's argument in
opposition to plaintiff's motion to transfer this action to the
District of Maryland unpersuasive. First, no evidence has been
submitted by defendant to support the claim that plaintiff
intentionally filed this action in the wrong district. Second, it
is not clear that the Court does, in fact, lack specific jurisdiction over defendant.*fn6 In support of
its motion to dismiss for lack of specific jurisdiction,
defendant relies heavily on the decision of the United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Vetrotex Certainteed
Corp. v. Consolidated Fiber Glass Products Co., 75 F.3d 147 (3d
Cir. 1996), affirming the district court's determination that a
California buyer of fiberglass product was not subject to
personal jurisdiction in Pennsylvania. However, the facts
presented to the Third Circuit in Vetrotex are distinguishable
from the facts presented in this case. For example, the plaintiff
in Vetrotex did not ship any product to the California buyer
from Pennsylvania. Rather, the product was manufactured in Texas
and shipped directly to the buyer in California. Moreover, the
California buyer was invoiced by the plaintiff's California
office, and the California buyer made all payments for goods to
the plaintiff's California office. Under the circumstances, the
Court concludes that the interest of justice does not compel the
denial of plaintiff's motion to transfer this action to the
District of Maryland.
Based on the foregoing, defendant's motion to dismiss will be
denied, and plaintiff's motion to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
will be granted.
AND NOW, this 7th day of December, 2005, IT IS SO
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