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VIJUK EQUIP. INC. v. OTTO HOHNER KG

January 22, 1990

VIJUK EQUIPMENT INC., an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
OTTO HOHNER KG, a German corporation, and HOHNER STITCHING PRODUCTS, INC., a Missouri corporation, Defendants


Ilana D. Rovner, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROVNER

ILANA D. ROVNER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 I. INTRODUCTION

 This action arises out of the alleged breach of an exclusive distributorship agreement. Plaintiff Vijuk Equipment Inc. ("Vijuk") is an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Illinois. Defendants are Otto Hohner KG ("Otto Hohner"), a German corporation with its principal place of business in Tuttlingen, Federal Republic of Germany, and Hohner Stitching Products, Inc. ("Hohner Stitching"), a Missouri corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri. Jurisdiction is premised on diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(3). Otto Hohner has moved to dismiss the case based on a forum selection clause, and Hohner Stitching has moved to dismiss on the ground that it was not in existence at the time of the alleged wrong. For the reasons stated below, defendants' motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed without prejudice.

 II. FACTS

 On July 15, 1987, Vijuk and Otto Hohner entered into an agreement which named Vijuk as the exclusive sales agent in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico for certain stitching machines manufactured by Otto Hohner. With respect to its duration, the contract provided:

 
The contract immediately will expire, if there should be any difficulty in payment.
 
Otherwise, the contract will be valid for 3 (three) years and will run automatically for another year and further on from year to year, if no notice has been given by registered letter three months before the actual expiration.
 
All eventual differences arising from this contract are to be settled and decided before the law-court having jurisdiction over Tuttlingen or before the law-court of the residence of Vijuk according to a decision of Hohner.

 Vijuk alleges that Otto Hohner has breached the contract by appointing Hohner Stitching and O & M (a non-party) as sales agents in the United States for its stitching machines. On May 2, 1988, Otto Hohner notified Vijuk that it was unilaterally terminating the sales agreement.

 In Count I of its complaint, Vijuk claims that Otto Hohner is liable for breach of contract. In Count II, Vijuk claims that Hohner Stitching is liable for tortious interference with contractual relations. In Count III, Vijuk claims that both Otto Hohner and Hohner Stitching are liable for conspiracy to tortiously interfere with contractual relations.

 III. CLAIMS AGAINST OTTO HOHNER

 A. Interpretation of the Forum ...


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