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Northern Illinois Telecom, Inc. v. PNC Bank, NA

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

August 27, 2014

NORTHERN ILLINOIS TELECOM, INC., an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
PNC BANK, NA, as successor in interest to National City Bank, as successor in interest to MidAmerica Bank, FSB, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.

Defendant, PNC Bank, NA ("PNC Bank"), moves for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). For the following reasons, the court grants the motion.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Northern Illinois Telecom, Inc. ("NITEL"), brings this action against PNC Bank for breach of contract. PNC Bank is the successor-in-interest to National City Bank ("National City"), which in turn was the successor-in-interest to MidAmerica Bank, FSB ("MidAmerica").

NITEL is a company that designs and installs data and telephone wiring systems. It alleges that in 2007, it "entered into agreements with National City Bank and Mid-America Bank to install data and telephone cabling" at four bank branches in the Chicago area.[1] (Verified Compl. ¶ 4.) According to the complaint, NITEL completed the work, and at each branch, a representative of National City or MidAmerica "signed off on the Work Order acknowledging that all of the work had been completed to their [sic] satisfaction." (Id. ¶ 6.) NITEL then issued four separate invoices for the work performed at each branch (to whom it issued the invoices is discussed below; the copies attached to the complaint are directed to National City and MidAmerica).

NITEL alleges that National City and MidAmerica then "defaulted on their obligations under the agreement by failing to pay NITEL for the work that it completed at those four locations." (Id. ¶ 9.) NITEL claims that PNC, as the banks' successor, is "solely responsible for the obligations of those entities." (Id. ¶ 10.) In its prayer for relief, NITEL seeks $81, 300.00 in damages, "plus late fees, attorney's fees, [and] court costs."

PNC Bank asserts that it never entered into an agreement with NITEL, that NITEL was acting as a subcontractor for an entity called Nexxtworks, Inc., and that any money owed to NITEL is owed by Nexxtworks. (Answer ¶¶ 13-14.) PNC Bank moves for summary judgment.

LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Summary Judgment Standards

"The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In considering such a motion, the court construes the evidence and all inferences that reasonably can be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Kvapil v. Chippewa County, Wis., 752 F.3d 708, 712 (7th Cir. 2014). "Summary judgment should be denied if the dispute is genuine': if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Talanda v. KFC Nat'l Mgmt. Co. , 140 F.3d 1090, 1095 (7th Cir. 1998) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)); see also Bunn v. Khoury Enters., Inc., 753 F.3d 676, 682 (7th Cir. 2014). The court will enter summary judgment against a party who does not "come forward with evidence that would reasonably permit the finder of fact to find in [its] favor on a material question." Modrowski v. Pigatto , 712 F.3d 1166, 1167 (7th Cir. 2013).

B. Elements of Breach of Contract

The parties do not dispute that Illinois law governs. "To prevail on a breach of contract claim, a plaintiff must establish the existence of a valid and enforceable contract, plaintiff's performance, defendant's breach of the terms of the contract, and damages resulting from the breach." Spitz v. Proven Winners N. Am., LLC, ___ F.3d ___, 2014 WL 3558030, at *4 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014) (citing Lindy Lu LLC v. Ill. Cent. R.R. , 984 N.E.2d 1171, 1175 (Ill.App.Ct. 2013)). Thus, to survive summary judgment, NITEL must point to sufficient evidence supporting each of these elements. See Spitz, 2014 WL 3558030, at *4 (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (holding that a nonmoving party must make a sufficient showing on all essential elements of the case on which it has the burden of proof)).

C. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

"For litigants appearing in the Northern District of Illinois, the Rule 56.1 statement is a critical, and required, component of a litigant's response to a motion for summary judgment. The purpose of the local rule is to make the summary judgment process less burdensome on district courts, by requiring the parties to nail down the relevant facts and the way they ...


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