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United Road Towing, Inc. v. Incidentclear, LLC

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

April 9, 2015

UNITED ROAD TOWING, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
INCIDENTCLEAR, LLC, GEORGE BERGERON, and RYAN DAVIDS, Defendants, RYAN DAVIDS, Counter-Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED ROAD TOWING, INC., Counter-Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

CHARLES P. KOCORAS, District Judge.

Now before the Court is Counter-Defendant United Road Towing Inc.'s ("United") motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, United's motion to dismiss is denied.

BACKGROUND

For the purposes of the instant motion, the following well-pleaded allegations derived from Counter-Plaintiff Ryan Davids' ("Davids") counterclaim are accepted as true for the purposes of this motion. The Court draws all reasonable inferences in favor of Davids. Wigod v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 673 F.3d 547, 554-55 (7th Cir. 2012).

On December 19, 2014, United filed a six-count complaint against the Defendants IncidentClear, LLC, ("IncidentClear"), George Bergeron ("Bergeron"), and Davids' (collectively the "Defendants") alleging a violation of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act, breach of contract, tortious interference with a contract and prospective economic relations, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion. On January 12, 2015, Davids answered United's complaint and also filed an Illinois state law counterclaim against United for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. On February 9, 2015, this Court denied the Defendants' motion to dismiss United's complaint. Our February 9, 2015 opinion sets forth a more comprehensive background of United's initial claim against the Defendants. Only the allegations relevant to Davids' claim are expounded upon below.

United is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Mokena, Illinois and is a citizen of Delaware and Illinois. United provides towing and highway assistance services to municipalities and other local governmental authorities throughout the United States. Davids began his employment with United in April 2006. Davids started as a financial analyst and then corporate controller, and on January 1, 2011, he became Vice President of Business Development.

In July 2013 Bergeron, a corporate executive of United, was terminated by United's Chief Executive Officer (CEO") Jerry Corcoran ("Corcoran") for allegedly attempting to open a towing business that competed with United. Soon after Bergeron's termination, Davids resigned in August 2013.

Following Davids' departure from United, he sought employment at TXI Systems ("TXI"), a provider of computer software and software services which United had an ongoing business relationship with. After negotiations between Davids and TXI, TXI was prepared to offer Davids a position in its sales and development division. When Corcoran learned about TXI's decision to hire Davids, he contacted TXI's Chief Executive Officer, Grant MacQuilkan ("MacQuilkan"). Corcoran told MacQuilkan that if TXI hired Davids that United would stop doing business with TXI and United would sue them. As a result of Corcoran's threats, TXI did not offer Davids a position. On January 12, 2015, Davids filed an Illinois state law counterclaim against United for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage. On January 30, 2015, United moved to dismiss Davids' claim under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).

LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 12(b)(1) permits the court to dismiss an action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). When a party moves for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(1) challenging the factual basis for jurisdiction, the nonmoving party must support its allegations with competent proof of jurisdictional facts. Thomson v. Gaskill, 315 U.S. 442, 446 (1942); Kontos v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, 826 F.2d 573, 576 (7th Cir. 1987). "If a plaintiff cannot establish standing to sue, relief from this court is not possible, and dismissal under 12(b)(1) is the appropriate disposition." Am. Federation of Government Employees v. Cohen, 171 F.3d 460, 465 (7th Cir. 1999). Affidavits and other relevant evidence may be used to resolve the factual dispute regarding the court's jurisdiction. Kontos, 826 F.2d at 576.

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is used to test the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' sufficient to provide the defendant with fair notice' of the claim and its basis." Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1084 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Additionally, the allegations in the complaint must "actually suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief, by providing allegations that raise a right to relief above a speculative level." Tamayo, 526 F.3d at 1084 (emphasis in original).

DISCUSSION

As noted above, United seeks dismissal under Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction and under Rule 12(b)(6) for Davids' failure to state a claim. Because United contends that this Court does not have jurisdiction over Davids' claim, the Court must consider the jurisdictional issue before reaching the ...


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