MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On October 31, 1995, plaintiff, Frank P. Rohde, filed his complaint against defendants Central Railroad of Indiana ("CRI") and CP Rail System-HHUS. In his complaint, Mr. Rohde sets forth the following allegations. CRI employed Mr. Rohde as a conductor-switchman. On November 6, 1992, Mr. Rohde was riding in the brakeman's seat of a CRI locomotive in Greendale, Indiana. The locomotive struck a cattle trailer attempting to cross the tracks. Mr. Rohde was thrown from his seat and into the control panel and, as a result, suffered injuries. Mr. Rohde seeks to hold CRI liable for having negligently caused these injuries. The parties agree that CRI is not an Illinois resident. CRI has filed a motion to dismiss in which it argues that this court lacks personal jurisdiction over it. CRI's motion is granted.
Whether this Court Has Personal Jurisdiction over CRI
As the party seeking to show jurisdiction, Mr. Rohde bears "the burden of establishing a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction." See Michael J. Neuman & Associates, Limited v. Florabelle Flowers, Incorporated, 15 F.3d 721, 724 (7th Cir. 1994). A federal district court in Illinois can assert jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant only if Illinois courts would have personal jurisdiction. Id. at 724. The parameters of jurisdiction under the Illinois long-arm statute are contiguous with the requirements of due process under the United States and Illinois Constitutions. Chemical Waste Management, Inc. v. Sims, 870 F. Supp. 870, 873 (N.D. Ill. 1994). If the defendant's contacts with Illinois satisfy the requirements of due process, then those contacts also fulfill the requirements of the Illinois long-arm statute.
Under the United States Constitution, I may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant only if the defendant has "certain minimum contacts with [the forum state] such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend 'traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'" International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 90 L. Ed. 95, 66 S. Ct. 154 (1945) (citation omitted). A nonresident defendant can establish such minimum contacts only via its purposeful acts. Wilson v. Humphreys (Cayman) Ltd., 916 F.2d 1239, 1243 (7th Cir. 1990), cert. denied sub nom Humphreys (Cayman) Ltd. v. Wilson, 499 U.S. 947, 113 L. Ed. 2d 468, 111 S. Ct. 1415 (1991). The parties agree that Mr. Rohde's cause of action against CRI does not arise out of or relate to CRI's activities in Illinois. Because, therefore, it is CRI's overall activity in Illinois that could serve as the basis for jurisdiction, the assertion of jurisdiction would be termed "general." Id. at 1244. Exercising general jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is proper when the defendant has maintained "continuous and systematic general business contacts" in Illinois. Id. at 1245 (citation omitted). This standard "is a fairly high [one] in practice." Id. (citation omitted).
CRI, an Indiana corporation with its principal place of business in Kokomo, Indiana, is a common carrier by railroad that operates a line of railroad running from Shelbyville, Indiana to Cincinatti, Ohio. CRI is not registered to do business in Illinois and has no office or employees in Illinois. CRI does not conduct any business in Illinois, have rail lines in Illinois, interchange freight in Illinois, or solicit business in Illinois, by telephone or otherwise. Weller Aff. at PP 3-8. (Henry E. Weller was Chief Operating Officer of CRI.)
Mr. Rohde argues, however, that I may assert general jurisdiction over CRI on the ground that CRI has received revenue from line hauls on freight traffic that were delivered to a shipper in Illinois. In particular, he argues that CRI admits receiving $ 50,000 in revenue from one Illinois shipper in 1995. The fact that CRI ships goods that either originate or eventually arrive in Illinois does not provide a sufficient basis for a finding of personal jurisdiction over CRI. "Unilateral activity of another party or a third person is not an appropriate consideration when determining whether a defendant has sufficient contacts with a forum State to justify an assertion of jurisdiction." Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 417, 80 L. Ed. 2d 404, 104 S. Ct. 1868 (1984). Because CRI does not operate any railroad lines in Illinois, it was at most a connecting carrier in Indiana. That some common carrier other than CRI ships the same goods through Illinois that CRI transports does not show that CRI maintains continuous and systematic general business contacts with Illinois.
Mr. Rohde also argues that the fact that other railroads in Illinois repaired CRI leased cars and that CRI was billed for these repairs can serve as grounds for asserting jurisdiction over CRI. When CRI's leased cars leave its lines, CRI has no control over them. Johnson Reply Aff. at P 12. Moreover, as already noted, under the AAR's interchange rules, "when one railroad tenders a car to another railroad, the second railroad must accept it and take it to the next interchange point or to the destination ... ." Johnson Reply Aff. at P 3. The AAR further requires that railroads "coming into possession of cars needing repairs ... make the repairs and bill the owning railroad." Id. at P 4. Furthermore,
Due to the vast size and complexity of the national railroad system, normally, the owner of the car does not even know the car is being repaired (subject to the need for notice and authorization on very substantial repairs, which is rare in the case of running repairs) and only finds out when the bill for the repair service is received. Subject to [a] monetary limitation ..., the owning railroad does not have any say in the matter of whether the car is repaired, because the repair is automatically triggered by maintenance standards set forth in AAR-sponsored operating manuals.