Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Superior Court of Pennsylvania settles jurisdiction dispute in Delta Health breach of contract lawsuit

State Court

By Charmaine Little | Sep 17, 2019


PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania court has personal jurisdiction over a breach of contract case, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled on Aug. 30.

President Judge Jack A. Panella wrote the opinion. Judges Victor P. Stabile and Mariah McLaughlin concurred.

Delta Health Technologies LLC, a Pennsylvania company that provides licensing and software for home health and hospice organizations, filed a breach of contract suit against Connecticut-based Companions and Homemakers Inc., which services the public with home care and care management services.

One of the products that Delta provides is AppointMate, a billing, scheduling and payroll software. Companions set up a test account for AppointMate for about a year starting in July 2011 but told Delta that it was ending their negotiations in October 2013. A year later, Companions reached out to Delta to resume negotiations. 

They entered into a three-year contract that gave Companions the chance to end the contract if it wanted. It also mentioned that it would comply with Connecticut laws.

Delta said Companions never paid it, alleging Companions owes $47,536.33. It filed a breach of contract action, and Companions filed a preliminary objection asking for dismissal, stating the court lacked personal jurisdiction. The lower court overruled, and the Superior Court did as well.

It pointed out that Companions was fully aware that it was stepping into an agreement with Delta, which is a Pennsylvania company. While this isn’t sufficient to prove personal jurisdiction, the Superior Court said, enough activities, including several phone calls and in-person meetings, occurred in Pennsylvania did so.

"During the test account period, Companions had uninterrupted access to AppointMate and repeatedly loaded its own data into the test account, which was maintained in Pennsylvania,” the Superior Court said in its ruling.

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