WEBSTER, Circuit Judge.
In this appeal, Block Industries, defendant in a personal injury action below, seeks reversal of an order of the District Court dismissing four foreign corporations which Block had attempted to join as third-party defendants. We affirm.
Larry Allen Ham, plaintiff below, filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota seeking $750,000 in damages for personal injuries suffered when a shirt, manufactured by Block, was ignited, causing severe burns. The accident occurred in South Dakota, plaintiff's residence. Block is a North Carolina corporation, and jurisdiction was based upon diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Thereafter, Block filed a third-party complaint, naming as third-party defendants four fabric manufacturers, all nonresidents of South Dakota and all having their principal places of business outside that state: DHJ Industries,
Each third-party defendant, either by motion to dismiss or by answer, challenged the in personam jurisdiction of the court, asserted under South Dakota's long-arm statute, SDCL § 15-7-2 (1967).
The District Court found that "the record as a whole fails to show contacts minimal or otherwise", and that South Dakota's long-arm statute therefore could not be used to acquire personal jurisdiction.
In search of indemnity, Block has asserted long-arm jurisdiction over four fabric manufacturers. While its third-party complaint asserts joint tort liability on the part of all third-party defendants, it is obvious, and Block concedes on oral argument, that it has no knowledge or information upon which to base such allegations. Block obviously hoped to ascertain, by means of interrogatories, which, if any, of the fabric manufacturers did indeed produce the fabric which was incorporated in the shirt worn by the plaintiff. Such tactics are not unusual in day-to-day negligence litigation. Nothing in the federal rules precludes the naming of multiple defendants, only one of whom may prove to have been responsible. Rule 20, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, provides that "* * * All persons * * * may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact, common to all defendants will arise in the action." The purpose of alternative joinder is thus explained by Professors Wright and Miller:
The Supreme Court of South Dakota has expressed its belief that "the legislature by enacting the `long arm' statute intended to provide South Dakota residents with maximum protection of South Dakota courts from damages and injuries occasioned them through the acts or omissions, both contractual and tortious, of a nonresident when that nonresident has had the necessary minimal contacts with the state to comply with federal due process." Ventling v. Kraft, 83 S.D. 465, 161 N.W.2d 29, 34 (1968); see also Kulm v. Idaho First National Bank, 428 F.2d 616 (8th Cir. 1970).
In this circuit, personal jurisdiction under long-arm statutes must meet due process requirements governed by the following general guidelines: (1) the nature and quality of the contacts with the forum state; (2) the quantity of contacts with the forum state; (3) the relation of the cause of action to the forum state; (4) the interest of the forum state in providing a forum for its residents; (5) the convenience of the parties. Electro-Craft Corp. v. Maxwell Electronics Corp., 417 F.2d 365, 368 (8th Cir. 1969). See also International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945); Aftanase v. Economy Baler Co., 343 F.2d 187 (8th Cir. 1965).
In this appeal, Block has elected to let its case stand or fall upon the accrual of a tort in South Dakota, SDCL § 15-7-2(2) (1967); in oral argument it rightly abandoned its alternative claim of personal jurisdiction based upon the fabric manufacturers' alleged transaction of business within that state, SDCL § 15-7-2(1) (1967). When a plaintiff seeks to bring a defendant into court under a long-arm statute, he must state sufficient facts in the complaint to support a reasonable inference that such defendant can be subjected to jurisdiction within the state. Williams v. Vick Chemical Co., 279 F.Supp. 833 (S.D. Iowa 1967). Once jurisdiction had been controverted or denied, Block had the burden of proving such facts. McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 56 S.Ct. 780, 80 L.Ed. 1135 (1936); Midwest Packaging Corp. v. Oerlikon Plastics, Ltd., 279 F.Supp. 816 (S.D.Iowa 1968). Although a plaintiff seeking to predicate long-arm jurisdiction on the accrual of a tort action within the forum state need not make a full showing on the merits that the nonresident defendant committed the tort, a prima facie showing is required to defeat a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction. Fisher v. First National Bank of Omaha, 338 F.Supp. 525 (S.D. Iowa). Appeal dismissed, 466 F.2d 511 (8th Cir. 1972); Midwest Packaging Corp. v. Oerlikon, supra; 4 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1068, at 250 (1969). See also Bland v. Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp., 338 F.Supp. 871 (S.D.Tex.1971); Alabama Great Southern R. R. Co. v. Allied Chemical Co., 312 F.Supp. 3, 8 n. 5 (E. D.Va.1970), rev'd on other grounds, 467 F.2d 679 (5th Cir. 1972).
In this respect, Judge Beck correctly held that Block Industries had failed to meet its burden. The trial court correctly found that the contacts were too minimal to support in personam jurisdiction. Implicit in the application of any long-arm statute are considerations of convenience, fairness and the avoidance of harassment. See 4 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1068, at 244 (1969). To require all four of these third-party defendants to respond in a foreign state upon nothing more than the allegations contained in this third-party complaint would open the door to uncontrolled harassment of a far more deleterious nature than would arise in litigation in which the parties were subject to service of process within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
Our holding does not preclude Block Industries from pursuit of its claim for indemnity. It has always had the capacity and ability as a defendant in the main lawsuit to require the fabric manufacturers to supply discovery by means of depositions. When it has ascertained the manufacturer of the fabric used in the shirt, it may, by leave of court, renew its third-party complaint against such manufacturer. We do not think, however, that it is appropriate, conscionable or contemplated by Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e) that long-arm personal jurisdiction be acquired against multiple third-party defendants upon the mere possibility that one or more of them may have contributed to the defect or negligence which is the subject of the suit. While the pleadings may have been technically sufficient for the court to retain jurisdiction, the subsequent showing in resistance to the motion to dismiss was not, in view of the affidavits of the third-party defendants, of equal dignity.