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MEDICAL EMERGENCY SERVICE ASSOCIATES v. DUPLIS

March 15, 1983

MEDICAL EMERGENCY SERVICE ASSOCIATES (MESA), S.C., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT M. DUPLIS, M.D., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This is an action under 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq., the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), and for fraud, misappropriation, tortious inducement of termination and malicious interference with advantageous relations, unfair competition under Ill.Rev.Stat. ch. 121 1/2, § 262, tortious breach of employment duties, and tortious retention of compensation. Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for improper venue, lack of personal jurisdiction and insufficiency of service of process, or, in the alternative, to transfer. We grant the motion to dismiss.

FACTS

On a motion to dismiss, we assume the facts as stated by plaintiff. We summarize the facts relevant to this motion here.

Plaintiff, Medical Emergency Services Associates ("MESA"), is an Illinois medical corporation which has its principal place of business in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. MESA contracts with hospitals to provide physicians to staff emergency rooms and subcontracts with physicians to service its primary contracts. On July 31, 1978, MESA contracted with defendant Orlando Regional Medical Center, of Orlando, Florida, to provide emergency medical services and staff there for a period of one year, with automatic one-year renewals until either party terminated the contract in accordance with its provisions. The contract continued in force until it was terminated on March 31, 1982. MESA entered into individual contracts of employment with each of defendant-physicians Duplis, Wolfson, Bautista, Baguio, Wilson and Castellaneta to provide emergency medical services, and each was assigned to Orlando Medical. Each of these contracts of employment provided that it would remain in force until it was terminated by either party upon 90 days' notice.

MESA's complaint alleges that prior to December 23, 1981, and while employed by MESA, one or more of defendants Duplis, Wolfson, Bautista, Baguio, Wilson and Castellaneta conceived and embarked upon a plan, scheme and course of conduct to form a group, organization or enterprise to replace MESA as the provider of emergency medical services for Orlando General. The complaint alleges that in furtherance of this plan, one or more of these defendants attempted to and did solicit the remainder of the defendants and others to join this plan and scheme. The scheme, as outlined in plaintiff's complaint, basically was that each of the physicians would simultaneously quit their employment with MESA and form another group to provide the same services to Orlando General. The complaint alleges further that the defendants conspired to conceal this scheme from MESA.

DISCUSSION

Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for improper venue, lack of personal jurisdiction and insufficiency of service of process, or, in the alternative, to transfer to the Middle District of Florida.

Venue*fn1

Because this action is founded on both RICO*fn2 and diversity of citizenship, we look to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) to determine whether venue is proper.*fn3 That section provides:

  A civil action wherein jurisdiction is not founded
  solely on diversity of citizenship may be brought
  only in the judicial district where all defendants
  reside, or in which the claim arose, except as
  otherwise provided by law.

28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Plaintiff argues that venue is proper in the Northern District of Illinois because, according to plaintiff, the claim arose here.

  Plaintiff argues that the claim arose in the Northern District
of Illinois where,

   . . each defendant engaged in overt acts in
  furtherance of the conspiracy by mailing into
  Illinois simultaneous notices of contract
  termination, where the injurious effect of all of the
  defendants [sic] conduct was felt, where the "target"
  of the tortious ...

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