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Connelly v. Uniroyal

OPINION FILED JANUARY 26, 1979.

JOHN DARRILL CONNELLY, APPELLEE,

v.

UNIROYAL, INC., ET AL. — (UNIROYAL ENGLEBERT BELGIQUE, S.A., APPELLANT.)



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Daniel P. Coman, Judge, presiding.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff, John Darrill Connelly, brought this action in the circuit court of Cook County against defendants, Uniroyal Englebert Belgique, S.A. (hereafter Englebert), and Uniroyal, Inc. (hereafter Uniroyal), and other defendants not involved in this appeal, seeking to recover damages for personal injuries. The circuit court denied both Englebert's motion to quash the service of summons and Uniroyal's motion for summary judgment and in its orders included the findings requisite to an application for leave to appeal. (S.Ct. Rule 308 (58 Ill.2d R. 308).) The appellate court allowed defendants' application for leave to appeal, affirmed as to Englebert, and reversed as to Uniroyal (55 Ill. App.3d 530), and we have allowed defendant Englebert's petition for leave to appeal.

It is alleged in plaintiff's complaint, as amended, that in November 1970 he suffered personal injuries when a tire manufactured by Englebert and bearing Uniroyal's trademark failed while his 1969 Opel Kadett was being operated on a highway in Colorado. Plaintiff's father had purchased the automobile in September 1969 from a Buick dealer in Evanston. The tire bore the name "Uniroyal" and the legend "made in Belgium" and admittedly was manufactured by defendant Englebert, sold in Belgium to General Motors, and subsequently installed on the Opel when it was assembled at a General Motors plant in Belgium. The automobile was shipped to the United States for distribution by General Motors. It appears from answers to interrogatories that between the years 1968 and 1971 in excess of 4,000 Opels imported into the United States from Antwerp were delivered to dealers in Illinois each year; that in each of those years between 600 and 1,320 of the Opels delivered to Illinois dealers were equipped with tires manufactured by Englebert, and that the estimated number of Englebert tires mounted on Opels delivered in Illinois within each of those years ranged from 3,235 to 6,630.

Defendant Englebert alleged in its motion to quash the service of process that its principal place of business is in Belgium; that it is not registered to do business and has never had an agent, employee, representative or salesman in Illinois; that it has never possessed or controlled any real property or maintained any office or telephone listing in Illinois; that it has never sold or shipped any products into Illinois, either directly or indirectly; and that it has never advertised in Illinois. Defendant avers that the summons is "a nullity and [has] no legal effect in that Englebert Belgique has not done any of the acts enumerated in the Illinois Long Arm statute (ch. 110, sec. 17. Illinois Revised Stat.), nor has it otherwise submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state"; and that "there is a total lack of contact between Englebert Belgique and the State of Illinois so that an assertion of jurisdiction by this court over this defendant would be contrary to substantial justice and would violate the rights of this defendant under the Constitutions of the United States of America and of the State of Illinois."

The relevant statutes in pertinent part provide:

"Sec. 13.3. Service on private corporations.

A private corporation may be served (1) by leaving a copy of the process with its registered agent or any officer or agent of said corporation found anywhere in the State; or (2) in any other manner now or hereafter permitted by law. A private corporation may also be notified by publication and mail in like manner and with like effect as individuals." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 110, par. 13.3.

"Sec. 16. Personal service outside State.

(1) Personal service of summons may be made upon any party outside the State. If upon a citizen or resident of this State or upon a person who has submitted to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State, it shall have the force and effect of personal service of summons within this State; otherwise it shall have the force and effect of service by publication." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 110, par. 16(1).

"Sec. 17. Act submitting to jurisdiction — Process.

(1) Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this State, who in person or through an agent does any of the acts hereinafter enumerated, thereby submits such person, and, if an individual, his personal representative, to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State as to any cause of action arising from the doing of any of such acts:

(a) The transaction of any business within this State;

(b) The commission of a tortious act within this State;

(2) Service of process upon any person who is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State, as provided in this Section, may be made by personally serving the summons upon the defendant outside this State, as provided in this Act, with the same force and effect as though summons had been personally served within this State.

(3) Only causes of action arising from acts enumerated herein may be asserted against a defendant in an action in which jurisdiction over him is based upon this Section.

(4) Nothing herein contained limits or affects the right to serve any process in any other manner now or hereafter provided by law." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 110, par. 17.

In affirming the order denying Englebert's motion to quash, following a review of the authorities ...


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