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United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D

April 16, 1980


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Aspen, District Judge:


This suit arises out of damage to barges covered by insurance policies issued by plaintiff Royal Globe Insurance Company ("Royal Globe") to defendant Logicon, Inc. ("Logicon") through William Powell and Company ("Powell"), an insurance broker with offices in Illinois and Arkansas. Powell is an authorized agent of Royal Globe pursuant to a written agreement. This arrangement authorizes Powell to issue binders and policies on behalf of Royal Globe to purchasers of insurance from Powell.*fn1 Royal Globe has brought this declaratory judgment action against Logicon, seeking a determination of the rights and liabilities of these parties pursuant to the insurance contract.*fn2

Powell contacted Logicon, an Arkansas corporation engaged in the sale and transportation of fuel oil and related petroleum products, in an attempt to solicit Logicon's insurance business.*fn3 Powell then submitted information to Royal Globe who in turn issued, in February, 1976, policies insuring the hulls of certain Logicon-leased barges for a one-year period. The contract proposal was sent by Powell to Arkansas, where Logicon reviewed and accepted it by mail.*fn4 Although the scope of the coverage of the policies was modified at various times during the year, these changes were made through Powell by phone or mail. At no time did any Logicon personnel come to Illinois or have any direct contact with Royal Globe.*fn5

On or about February 14, 1977, the barges covered by the insurance policy were damage while being towed on the Arkansas River. Logicon filed suit in Arkansas against the tug which was towing the barges at the time of the accident. That suit is pending at the present time. Royal Globe then filed the present law suit, seeking a declaratory judgment that it is not required to provide coverage for the damage done to the barges because (1) Logicon breached the terms of the policy by failing to give timely notice of the accident, (2) Logicon breached the contractual limitation of action clause in the policies of insurance, and (3) Logicon failed to allow Royal Globe the opportunity to survey the damage as required under the policy. Logicon has moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction or, in the alternative, to transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.*fn6

Since there is no claim that Logicon is a resident of Illinois, the amenability of Logicon to service of process is governed by the Illinois long-arm statute, Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 110 § 17 (1977). A defendant will become subject to Illinois long-arm jurisdiction if it has transacted business within the state. In order to meet this test, it must be shown that a defendant has sufficient minimal contacts with the state in order to satisfy due process, International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 66 S.Ct. 154, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945), and that it "purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws." Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253, 78 S.Ct. 1228, 1240, 2 L.Ed.2d 1283 (1958).

Logicon, an Arkansas corporation with its principal place of business in Little Rock, Arkansas, does not sell or transport oil within Illinois; nor does it maintain a place of business, bank deposit, telephone, or telephone listing in Illinois.*fn7 The insurance contract was solicited in Arkansas by Powell, not Logicon, and the place of acceptance and performance also was Arkansas.*fn8 In fact, the only contact Logicon had with Illinois consisted of calls and mailings to Powell regarding the insurance policies.*fn9 Illinois law holds that while a telephone call together with additional factors will provide the sufficient minimal contacts for personal jurisdiction, a telephone call standing alone will not.*fn10 However, Royal Globe relies on an agency relationship between Powell and Logicon to provide an additional basis for asserting personal jurisdiction. This reliance is misplaced since it is clear that the only agency relationship that exists is between Powell and Royal Globe.*fn11 Powell never served as an agent for Logicon and, therefore, could not bind Logicon to an insurance contract.*fn12 Given these facts, the Court finds that Logicon does not have sufficient minimal contacts with Illinois to allow this Court to assert in personam jurisdiction.

For the foregoing reasons, Logicon's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted. It is so ordered.

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