IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
LAUREN BROOKE TOLL, a minor by
her parents and natural
guardians, L. Richard Toll and
Linda Toll, his wife, and L.
RICHARD TOLL and LINDA TOLL,
in their own right,
FRENCH WOODS FESTIVAL OF
WABASH VALLEY MANUFACTURING,
March 13, 1998
M E M O R A N D U M
Plaintiff Lauren Toll and her parents brought this
civil action for personal injury damages after she was allegedly
injured while attending a summer camp operated by French Woods.
Now before the court is a motion brought by defendant French
Woods Festival of the Performing Arts ("French Woods") to dismiss
for lack of jurisdiction, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(2), and for improper venue, pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3).
A federal district court can exercise personal
jurisdiction over defendants to the extent permissible under the
law of the state in which it sits. Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(e). Under
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Pennsylvania law, a court can exercise jurisdiction over an out-
of-state defendant based upon the specific acts of the defendant
which give rise to the cause of action, under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat.
Ann. § 5322, or upon the general business activity of the
defendant corporation within the state, under 42 Pa. Cons. Stat.
Ann. § 5301. Here, the basis for the plaintiffs' cause of action
against French Woods, alleged negligence in maintaining camp
property, took place in the state of New York, outside this
forum. Thus, jurisdiction in this court depends upon whether the
defendant did "a continuous and systematic part of its general
business within this Commonwealth" as to permit an assertion of
personal jurisdiction over the defendant. 42 Pa. Cons. Stat.
Ann. § 5301(a)(2)(iii); see Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia,
S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 415 (1984) (holding no personal
jurisdiction where the defendant's activities did not constitute
the kind of continuous a