plaintiffs' claims, it is possible to find that Midas gained a benefit in Dynabest U.S.A. as a result of Yao's actions. Midas allegedly gained Dynabest U.S.A.'s inventory, capital, employees and customers because of Yao's activities. As for an interest in Midas itself, the company was established because of Yao's actions. This claim, then, can be brought against both Yao and Midas.
Lastly, in Count X, plaintiffs allege a violation of the third subsection of § 1962. Subsection (c) prohibits a person employed by an enterprise from conducting the enterprise's activities through a pattern of racketeering. Under subsection (c), plaintiffs need only allege that they were injured by reason of one of the racketeering acts. Here, plaintiffs claim a host of injuries stemming from the acts perpetrated against them. Yao is the target of direct allegations that he conducted the affairs of both Dynabest U.S.A. and Midas through a pattern of racketeering. On the other hand, direct allegations are not levelled at Midas. And, under this subsection, Midas cannot be held vicariously liable for Yao's actions. "The express language of subsection (c) has been read to proscribe vicarious liability." Liquid Air Corp., 834 F.2d at 1306. Therefore, Count X will remain against Yao, but will be dismissed as to Midas.
II. Counterclaim-Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
Defendant Yao has counterclaimed solely against plaintiff Dalvey alleging tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. The court agrees with Dalvey's conclusion that Illinois law governs this case.
Under Illinois law, the tort of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage has the following elements: "(1) Plaintiff has a reasonable expectancy of entering into a valid business relationship; (2) Defendant knows of plaintiff's expectancy; (3) Defendant intentionally interferes in plaintiff's expectancy, preventing it from ripening into a valid business relationship; (4) Plaintiff suffers damages from defendant's interference." Kemmerer v. John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 594 F. Supp. 121, 122 (N.D. Ill. 1984). Dalvey challenges Yao's counterclaim by questioning the sufficiency of all these elements. The court finds itself in agreement with Dalvey with respect to two elements: Yao has not identified any expectancy of a valid business relationship which failed to ripen because of plaintiff's alleged actions; nor has Yao alleged a factual basis for the damages he claims. Accordingly, the counterclaim is dismissed.
Yao's counterclaim alleges that Dalvey transmitted two reputation-tarnishing facsimiles to retail customers and vendors with whom Yao did business. These facsimiles allegedly interfered with Yao's expectation of business relationships with individuals or companies in this group. Yao states in a conclusory fashion that these individuals or companies could include "without limitation, Sears, Service Merchandise Company and Best Products Company." Amended Counterclaim at 3-4. This assertion does convey an expectancy of a valid business relationship. Unfortunately, Yao does not take the necessary step of identifying any individuals or companies who refused to do business with him on the basis of the transmitted facsimiles. Yao merely claims that his "standing, reputation, prestige, good will and business was greatly damaged and shall in the future be damaged." Amended Complaint at 4. His allegation is the equivalent of the statement that he "may" not be able to capitalize on a prospective economic advantage -- a statement which has been found to be insufficient to state a tortious interference with prospective economic advantage claim. See Paul v. Premier Electrical Construction Co., 581 F. Supp. 721, 725 (N.D. Ill. 1984). Without any concrete claims that a reasonable expectation of doing business with any particular individual or company has been defeated, Yao has not satisfied the elements of the intentional interference tort. Roiter v. SNE Corp., No. 85-3453, slip op. at 2 [ 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3879] (N.D. Ill. May 8, 1987); Delcon Group v. Northern Trust Corp., 187 Ill. App. 3d 635, 543 N.E.2d 595, 607, 135 Ill. Dec. 212 (1989) (claim of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage insufficient if evidence did not establish that defendants' letters did not prevent any "expectancy of plaintiffs' from ripening into a valid business relationship or that they caused any damage to plaintiffs"). Additionally, his claim for damages in the amount of $ 500,000 is not substantiated by any factual allegations explaining the cause or extent of any injuries. While the federal rules give latitude in pleading, the rules do not allow for this degree of generality. Therefore, Yao's counterclaim is dismissed.
Defendants seek to dismiss Counts VII-X. The court finds that Count VII has been pled with sufficient particularity and should stand. The court further finds that Counts VIII-IX adequately plead RICO violations against both Yao and Midas. With regard to Count X, the court finds that it has been sufficiently pled against Yao, but not Midas. Count X, therefore, will be dismissed as to Midas.
Additionally, Dalvey seeks to have Yao's counterclaim dismissed. The court finds that the counterclaim has not been adequately pled. Accordingly, the counterclaim is dismissed.
IT IS SO ORDERED.