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01/25/88 Walter J. Wilson, Jr., v. Central Illinois Public

January 25, 1988

WALTER J. WILSON, JR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

CENTRAL ILLINOIS PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS

(B) A PARTNERSHIP SUED IN ITS FIRM NAME IS A RESIDENT OF ANY COUNTY IN WHICH ANY PARTNER RESIDES OR IN WHICH THE PARTNERSHIP HAS AN OFFICE OR IS DOING BUSINESS." ILL. RE

v.

STAT., 1984 SUPP., CH. 110, PARS. 2-102(A), (B).



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

519 N.E.2d 44, 165 Ill. App. 3d 533, 116 Ill. Dec. 454 1988.IL.72

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon. George J. Moran, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LEWIS delivered the opinion of the court. WELCH and CALVO, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LEWIS

This case is heard on appeal from the trial court's denial of the defendants' motions to transfer venue. The plaintiff, Walter J. Wilson, Jr., brought an action against the defendants, Central Illinois Public Service Company , Sargent & Lundy, Inc. (Sargent & Lundy), and Newton Associates, in the circuit court of Madison County, Illinois, on March 27, 1984, seeking to recover damages for personal injuries sustained while working on the construction of an electric power generating facility located in Newton, Jasper County, Illinois.

It appears from the complaint that CIPS, in building the facility, contracted with Sargent & Lundy to design the facility and to provide construction supervision and contracted with Newton Associates to erect and construct the facility. Newton Associates contracted with plaintiff's employer to perform certain insulation services in the construction. The plaintiff was allegedly injured on the job, at the site, on October 18, 1982. The complaint contained six counts. Two counts were directed against each of the defendants charging violations of the Structural Work Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 60 et seq.) and negligence. All three defendants filed special and limited appearances and motions for change of venue alleging that they were not residents of Madison County within the meaning of the venue statute. Discovery was conducted, and arguments were heard on the motions, to which affidavits had been attached. The trial court took the motions under advisement, and, after considering the matter, entered the following order on November 3, 1986:

"Defendant's [ sic ] motion for change of venue on the grounds the defendant [ sic ] has not been doing business in Madison County is denied."

Although it is not spelled out, we can assume that the trial court denied the motions of all three defendants. Insofar as the defendant CIPS is concerned, the plaintiff argues only that since there were no allegations that the remaining defendants were joined to fix venue, the residence of Sargent & Lundy and/or Newton Associates fixes venue for all defendants. The statutes in question provide in part as follows:

"Sec. 2-101. Generally. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, every action must be commenced (1) in the county of residence of any defendant who is joined in good faith and with probable cause for the purpose of obtaining a judgment against him or her and not solely for the purpose of fixing venue in that county, or (2) in the county in which the transaction or some part thereof occurred out of which the cause of action arose." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 2-101.

"Sec. 2 -- 102. Residence of corporations, voluntary unincorporated associations and partnerships defined. For purposes of venue, the following definitions apply:

(a) Any private corporation or railroad or bridge company, organized under the laws of this State, and any foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this State is a resident of any county in which it has its registered office or other office or is doing business. . . .

We agree with the plaintiff that the county of residence of any defendant who is joined in good faith fixes venue in that county. (See Hines v. Dresser Industries, Inc. (1985), 137 Ill. App. 3d 7, 484 N.E.2d 401.) The plaintiff maintains that both Sargent & Lundy, a partnership, and Newton Associates, a joint venture, were doing business in Madison County sufficiently to establish venue. The defendants take a contrary view.

The interrogatories disclose that the defendant Sargent & Lundy had entered into an annual service contract with Illinois Power Company to perform engineering services for Illinois Power throughout the State of Illinois. Under that agreement, the defendant Sargent & Lundy billed Illinois Power for work done in Madison County and was paid for services during the years 1977 through 1983. ...


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