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Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Irving Rubber & Metal Co.

ELR Citation: 26 ELR 21292
Nos. 4:CV-95-0825, 920 F. Supp. 612/(M.D. Pa., 03/21/1996)

The court holds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over third-party indemnification and duty-to-defend claims asserted by a defendant in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act (CERCLA) cost recovery action against its insurer. The claims are not closely enough allied to the underlying CERCLA claims to justify the court's exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over them. Furthermore, there is no viable federal cause of action assertable under CERCLA directly against the insurer. The court also holds that the insurer did not have sufficient minimum contacts with Pennsylvania to confer personal jurisdiction over it. The policy alleged to apply was issued in Indiana by an Indiana company to another Indiana corporation. There is nothing to suggest that the insurer did or does business in Pennsylvania or that it shipped products there so that it would have an inkling of the possibility of a claim arising there against the defendant that it would then be called on to defend. Even if there were such evidence, the court is not persuaded that even that would be a sufficient basis for haling the insurer into court in Pennsylvania to defend as a named party a declaratory judgment action filed against it.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Jay M. Brody
Harrison & Moberly
320 N. Meridian St., 7th Fl., Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 639-4511

Counsel for Defendants
Katherine L. Shelby
Wooden, McLaughlin & Sterner
1600 Capital Ctr. S.
201 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis IN 46204
(317) 639-6151