Somportex Limited v. Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
453 F.2d 435 (3rd Cir. 1971), 405 U.S. 1017 (1972)
Somportex Limited (Somportex) (plaintiff) sued Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation (Philadelphia) (defendant) in an English court for breach of contract. Philadelphia was served in Pennsylvania under the English long-arm statute. Philadelphia’s attorney appeared before the English court to challenge service of process on Philadelphia. When Philadelphia attempted to withdraw its appearance to challenge service, the court deemed the attorney’s appearance to have been a general appearance, not a special appearance, and held that Philadelphia had therefore waived its right to challenge the jurisdiction of the English court. The court gave Philadelphia additional time to present evidence on the issue of service of process under the long-arm statute. Philadelphia decided to take no action, and a default judgment was entered in Somportex’s favor. Somportex filed to enforce the judgment in federal district court in Pennsylvania. Somportex’s motion was granted. Philadelphia appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Philadelphia argued that the English court’s judgment should not be recognized in the United States for multiple reasons. First, Philadelphia argued that the English court did not conduct a factual or legal analysis of whether an English court had jurisdiction. Next, Philadelphia asserted that English laws relating to waiving jurisdiction and recovering compensatory damages were inconsistent with United States law. Finally, Philadelphia asserted that the exercise of personal jurisdiction by the English court did not comport with due process.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Aldisert, J.)
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