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TAM v. LO

July 7, 1997

PATRICK TAM, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL LO, JOSEPH CHAN, JOSEPH TAM, and INTERNATIONAL BUFFET KING, L.L.C., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 This matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 I. BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff Patrick Tam invested $ 73,000 in Defendant International Buffet King ("IBK"), an Illinois limited liability company. In exchange for his investment, Plaintiff was offered a full-time management position with IBK. Defendants Michael Lo, Joseph Chan, and Joseph Tam were also part of IBK's management.

 In August of 1995, Defendants Lo, Chan, and Tam met with Plaintiff and asked him to resign. Plaintiff agreed, as long as Defendants would pay him $ 73,000 and his brother-in-law Richard Tang, also an investor in IBK, $ 20,000. Defendants agreed and promised to pay Plaintiff and Tang a total of $ 93,000. Plaintiff and Tang never received the money. A few months later, Tang assigned his $ 20,000 interest in IBK to Plaintiff.

 In March of 1997, Plaintiff filed a four-count complaint against Defendants alleging: (1) breach of contract; (2) fraud/misrepresentation; (3) tortious interference with contract; and (4) a violation of the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act, 805 ILCS 180/1 et seq.

 II. MOTION TO DISMISS - LEGAL STANDARD

 In ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court "must accept well pleaded allegations of the complaint as true. In addition, the Court must view these allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Gomez v. Illinois State Board of Education, 811 F.2d 1030, 1039 (7th Cir. 1987). Although a complaint is not required to contain a detailed outline of the claim's basis, it nevertheless "must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory." Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745 F.2d 1101, 1106 (7th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 470 U.S. 1054, 84 L. Ed. 2d 821, 105 S. Ct. 1758 (1985). Dismissal is not granted "unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957).

 III. DISCUSSION

 Defendants offer numerous arguments attacking the various counts of Plaintiff's complaint, including an argument that the Court lacks jurisdiction over this matter. The Court will address the jurisdictional issue first and the remaining arguments in turn.

 A. Jurisdiction

 Defendants, however, misconstrue what's going on here. As alleged in the complaint, Tang assigned his $ 20,000 interest to Plaintiff. Additionally, Plaintiff submitted an affidavit noting that Tang assigned the interest in exchange for a debt Tang owed Plaintiff from an unrelated investment project. *fn1"

 "There is nothing inherently wrong in the assignment of a cause of action." Bailey v. Prudence Mut. Cas. Co., 429 F.2d 1388, 1389 (7th Cir. 1970). Indeed, as long as the assignment was not made for the purpose of conferring diversity jurisdiction, generally, there is no problem. See Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. v. Sullivan, 846 F.2d 377, 382 (7th Cir. 1988); ...


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