Thursday, February 22, 2018

consumer - UTPCPL - non-resident plaintiff

Danganan, et al. v. Guardian Protection Services – Pa. S.Ct. – February 21, 2018

Non-resident plaintiff permitted to sue business headquartered in Pennsylvania, despite lack of nexus between this state and the transaction/injury in question. 

Plaintiff’s claims were brought exclusively under the Pa. consumer protection law, 73 P.S. 201-1, et seq., under which there is “no textual basis” for imposing any nexus requirement.  There are no residency or geographic restrictions in the statutory definitions of “person” or “trade and commerce.” 

In this case, a homeowner in Washinton, D.C., entered into a three-year contract with a Pennsylvania company for home security services.  Before the end of the contractual term, the homeowner moved to California and notified the company of his intent to cancel the contract.   When the company refused to honor the cancellation and continued to bill the homeowner, the latter sued in CCP Philadelphia.  The company moved to dismiss the case, claiming that non-Pennsylvania residents could only sue under UTPCPL if there was a sufficient nexus between the transaction/injury and the forum state (Pennsylvania), such that the improper conduct primarily and substantially occurred in Pennsylvania.  The Court rejected this position, as set out above.