Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BERKS v. RIB MOUNTAIN SKI CORP.

September 28, 1983

ROBERTA BERKS, ETC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RIB MOUNTAIN SKI CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Roberta Berks ("Berks") has filed this diversity action on behalf of her minor daughter Sheryl ("Sheryl") against Wisconsin-incorporated Rib Mountain Ski Corporation*fn1 ("Rib Mountain"), charging Rib Mountain's negligence caused Sheryl to be injured while skiing. Rib Mountain has moved alternatively for (1) dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 12(b)(2) for lack of jurisdiction over its person or (2) transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) ("Section 1404(a)"). For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, the first branch of its motion is granted.*fn2

Facts*fn3

Rib Mountain operates a ski resort in Wausau, Wisconsin with attendant ski rental and instruction facilities. On March 6, 1982 Sheryl went to Rib Mountain to ski, rented some equipment from the rental center and took skiing instructions from a Rib Mountain employee. While skiing Sheryl fell and broke her leg.

Rib Mountain has never been registered to do business in Illinois, has never owned realty in Illinois and has never shipped goods into Illinois. All its employees and all members of its Board of Directors (the latter are all Oliva family members) have been and are non-Illinois residents. Its office and records are located in Wisconsin. Its only Illinois-oriented activities are some means of soliciting business: a booth at the 1982 Chicago Ski and Winter Show, newspaper advertisements, newspaper accounts and radio broadcasts of skiing conditions, and circulars in sports and ski shops.

Motion To Dismiss

This Court looks to Illinois service-of-process standards to determine whether Rib Mountain is amenable to suit here. Because the Illinois Supreme Court has recently made it plain it will not necessarily expand those standards to the full extent the Due Process Clause would allow,*fn4 this Court need consider only:

    1. the Illinois "long-arm" statute, Ill.Rev.Stat.
  ch. 110, § 2-209 ("Section 2-209");*fn5 and

2. the Illinois "doing business" rule.*fn6

Lexington United, 87 Ill.2d at 199, 57 Ill.Dec. at 733-34, 429 N.E.2d at 850-51.

Berks concedes (Mem. [2]) in personam jurisdiction over Rib Mountain cannot be based on Section 2-209, for Berks' cause of action does not arise out of any Rib Mountain conduct in Illinois. That leaves for determination the "doing business" question, under which the primary inquiry is whether the nonresident corporation:

  is conducting business in Illinois "of such a
  character and extent as to warrant the inference that
  the corporation has subjected itself to the
  jurisdiction and laws

  of the district in which it is served and in which it
  is bound to appear when a proper agent has been
  served with process."

Lexington United, 87 Ill.2d at 201, 57 Ill.Dec. at 735, 429 N.E.2d at 852.

Illinois "doing business" criteria do not reach nonresident corporations that merely solicit business in Illinois. Id., 87 Ill.2d at 201-03, 57 Ill.Dec. at 735-36, 429 N.E.2d at 852-53. All Rib Mountain's activities referred to in the "Facts" section of this opinion are considered "mere" solicitation for that purpose. See Braasch v. Vail ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.