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06/20/88 Darrell E. Reeves, v. the Baltimore & Ohio

June 20, 1988

DARRELL E. REEVES, PLAINTIFF

v.

THE BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY ET AL., DEFENDANTS (THE BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT; MIZE CONSTRUCTION, INC., THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLEE)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

526 N.E.2d 404, 171 Ill. App. 3d 1021, 122 Ill. Dec. 145 1988.IL.963

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Lester D. Foreman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE QUINLAN delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL, P.J., and BUCKLEY, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE QUINLAN

On February 19, 1980, the plaintiff, Darrell Reeves (Reeves), filed a suit in the circuit court of Cook County for personal injuries he sustained when the crane unit he was working on tipped and fell off of a trestle. The injury took place on March 27, 1979, in Cincinnati, Ohio, while Reeves was an employee of Mize Construction, Inc. (Mize). Reeves filed suit against numerous parties, including the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company and Iowa Mold Tooling Company on the basis of products liability. B&O filed a third-party complaint against Mize on December 19, 1986, premised upon strict liability, express indemnity and contribution. Mize, after filing a special and limited appearance, moved to quash and dismiss the third-party complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court granted Mize's motion on May 26, 1987. B&O appeals that ruling. *fn1

In 1971, Mize was incorporated in the State of Indiana. On September 9, 1978, B&O and Mize entered into a contract (the contract was not in any way connected to Illinois, i.e., the negotiation, performance, and execution did not occur in Illinois) under which Mize was to remove B&O tracks in Ohio. On March 27, 1979, Reeves, a Mize employee, was injured while in Ohio on the B&O/Mize job. B&O claimed that Mize's relevant contacts with Illinois were sufficient to constitute doing business in Illinois. Mize's business contacts with Illinois were established as involving substantially the following percentages of business during the years set forth below:

Percentage of gross revenue derived from Illinois work

1979 5% to 10%

1980 5% to 10%

1981 5% to 6%

1982 0% to 2%

1983-86 0%

Since 1982, Mize has done no work in Illinois and has derived no income from Illinois jobs. In fact, since 1983, Mize has been out of business. A successor corporation, Pine Construction, Inc., was formed. Pine is not in the construction business and had no contacts with Illinois. Mize never had, and, of course, does not now have, an office in ...


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