Phil Tolkan Pontiac, a local Milwaukee car dealer, at a time when plaintiff was resident in the Milwaukee area. It is not alleged that Tolkan had knowledge at the time the car was sold that plaintiff was contemplating a move out-of-state, specifically to New Jersey.
Defendant Tolkan brings this motion to dismiss, pursuant to Rule 12(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, on the ground that this Court cannot, under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, exercise in personam jurisdiction over Tolkan. Defendant bases its argument on the ground that as a local Pontiac dealer selling cars to local residents, Tolkan does not have, under the doctrine of International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 319, 66 S. Ct. 154, 90 L. Ed. 95 (1945), the "minimum contacts" with the State of New Jersey to bring Tolkan within this Court's diversity jurisdiction.
There is no question that New Jersey law, R. 4:4-4(e), "[allows] out-of-state service to the uttermost limits permitted by the United States Constitution." Avdel Corp. v. Mecure, 58 N.J. 264, 268, 277 A.2d 207, 209 (1971). New Jersey courts have steadily allowed the extension of State long-arm jurisdiction in cases involving defective items sold into the general flow of commerce. *
The New Jersey case most directly on point is Roche v. Floral Rental Corp., 95 N.J. Super. 555, 232 A.2d 162 (App. Div. 1967). There suit was brought against a New York corporation that installed a refrigerator body in a truck owned by a company doing business in New York, and the truck was delivered to the owner in New York. The truck subsequently traveled in New Jersey and there was an accident in which the refrigerator body's design was a contributing factor. The defendant in Roche, as does the defendant here, claimed that it did not have sufficient contact with New Jersey to allow jurisdiction over him in this State.
The court cited the Restatement, Conflict of Laws 2d, § 37 (May 2, 1967), which provides:
"A state has power to exercise judicial jurisdiction over an individual who causes effects in the state by an act done elsewhere with respect to causes of action arising from these effects unless the nature of the effects and of the individual's relationship to the state make the exercise of such jurisdiction unreasonable."