Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Corporation Found to Exist Based on Actions of the Distributor for the Corporation

In the products liability case of Merino v. Repak, B.V., No. 135 MDA 2022 (Pa. Super. Dec. 6, 2022 Bowes, J., McCaffery, J., and Stevens, P.J.E.) (Op. by McCaffery, J.), a Defendant company operating out of the Netherlands filed an appeal from a trial court Order overruling its Preliminary Objection to personal jurisdiction. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s Order.

In so ruling, the Superior Court rejected the Defendant’s arguments that the trial court had erred and abused its discretion when the trial court exercised personal jurisdiction over the foreign company based upon either the Defendant’s independent contacts with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or its relationship with a Co-Defendant company.

The Superior Court noted that the trial court properly exercised specific personal jurisdiction over the foreign manufacturer with no minimum contacts of its own within the forum. The court found that, based upon the actions and contacts of the foreign manufacturer’s exclusive distributor, with whom the manufacturer had a close agency relationship, jurisdiction over the foreign manufacturer was warranted.

The Superior Court found that the Co-Defendant distributor had acted as an agent for the foreign manufacturer by selling the manufacturers products to customers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Dec. 27, 2022).

Source of image:  Photo by Elena Mozhvilo at

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