United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) filed by
defendant Daedong Industrial Co. Ltd. d/b/a Kioti Tractor
Division (“Daedong Industrial”) (Doc. 9). Daedong
Industrial, a South Korean corporation with its principle
place of business in South Korea, argues that it is not
subject to the Court's jurisdiction. Plaintiffs James
McAdams (“McAdams”) and Jo Ann McAdams have
responded to the motion (Doc. 21). Following limited
jurisdiction discovery, the parties filed supplemental briefs
in support of their positions (Docs. 46 & 47).
case arose after McAdams was injured on August 18, 2016,
while working on a tractor owned by his employer Krause and
Son, Inc., doing business as Prairie Land Power. McAdams, a
sales manager, was preparing a Kioti tractor that had a
front-end loader fitted with a quick attach plate. The quick
attach plate was used to secure various universal skid-steer
attachments to the loader. The tractor McAdams was preparing
had a grapple attachment attached to the front-end
loader's hydraulic arms using the quick attach plate.
McAdams noticed the grapple was not working properly, so he
attempted to fix it by raising the front-end loader arms.
When the hydraulic arms were fully extended, the grapple
detached from the quick attach plate and fell on McAdams. He
was severely injured.
Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Jersey
County, Illinois, the plaintiffs sued in separate products
liability lawsuits a number of parties potentially
responsible for McAdams's injuries. In December 2017,
they sued Daedong-USA d/b/a Kioti Tractor Division, the
seller of the tractor and a subsidiary of Daedong Industrial,
and Worksaver Inc., the manufacturer of the grapple
attachment. In August 2018, the plaintiffs first learned
through discovery that Daedong Industrial, Daedong-USA's
parent company, manufactured the tractor and that Shindong
Industrial Co. Ltd. (“Shindong”) manufactured the
front-end loader and the quick attach plate. They then filed
two new suits in Jersey County against Shindong and Daedong
Industrial, respectively. Shindong removed its case to this
Court as No. 18-cv-2199-JPG-RJD, and Daedong Industrial
removed its case as No. 18-cv-2194-JPG-RJD, this case.
Industrial believes this Court does not have personal
jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiffs' claims against
it and has, accordingly, moved to dismiss this case for lack
of personal jurisdiction..
personal jurisdiction is challenged under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), the plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing personal jurisdiction over a defendant.
Purdue Research Found. v. Sanofi-Synthelabo, S.A.,
338 F.3d 773, 782 (7th Cir. 2003). If there are material
facts in dispute regarding the Court's jurisdiction over
a defendant, the Court must hold an evidentiary hearing at
which the plaintiff must establish jurisdiction by a
preponderance of the evidence. Id. (citing Hyatt
Int'l Corp. v. Coco, 302 F.3d 707, 713 (7th Cir.
2002)). Alternatively, the Court may decide the motion to
dismiss without a hearing based on the submitted written
materials so long as it resolves all factual disputes in the
plaintiff's favor. Purdue Research, 338 F.3d at
782 (citing RAR, Inc. v. Turner Diesel, Ltd., 107
F.3d 1272, 1276 (7th Cir. 1997)); see uBID, Inc. v.
GoDaddy Grp., Inc., 623 F.3d 421, 423-24 (7th Cir.
2010). If the Court consults only the written materials, the
plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of
personal jurisdiction. Purdue Research, 338 F.3d at
782 (citing Hyatt, 302 F.3d at 713).
federal court sitting in diversity, as this Court is, looks
to the personal jurisdiction law of the state in which the
court sits to determine if it has jurisdiction. Hyatt
Int'l Corp. v. Coco, 302 F.3d 707, 713 (7th Cir.
2002) (citing Dehmlow v. Austin Fireworks, 963 F.2d
941, 945 (7th Cir. 1992)). Thus, this Court applies Illinois
law. Under Illinois law, a court has personal jurisdiction
over a defendant if an Illinois statute grants personal
jurisdiction and if the exercise of personal jurisdiction is
permissible under the Illinois and United States
constitutions. RAR, 107 F.3d at 1276; Wilson v.
Humphreys (Cayman), Ltd., 916 F.2d 1239 (7th Cir. 1990).
Illinois Statutory Law
Illinois law, the long-arm statute permits personal
jurisdiction over a party to the extent allowed under the due
process provisions of the Illinois and federal constitutions.
735 ILCS 5/2-209(c); Hyatt Int'l Corp. v. Coco,
302 F.3d 707, 714 (7th Cir. 2002); Central States, Se.
& Sw. Areas Pension Fund v. Reimer Express World
Corp., 230 F.3d 934, 940 (7th Cir. 2000). Therefore,
whether the Court has jurisdiction over a defendant depends
on whether such jurisdiction is permitted by federal and
state constitutional standards.
Illinois Constitutional Law
Illinois Constitution's due process guarantee, Ill.
Const. art. I, § 2, permits the assertion of personal
jurisdiction “when it is fair, just, and reasonable to
require a nonresident defendant to defend an action in
Illinois, considering the quality and nature of the
defendant's acts which occur in Illinois or which affect
interests located in Illinois.” Rollins v.
Ellwood, 565 N.E.2d 1302, 1316 (Ill. 1990). When
interpreting these principles, a court may look to the
construction and application of the federal due process
clause. Id. In fact, the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals has suggested that there is no operative difference
between Illinois and federal due process limits on the
exercise of personal jurisdiction. Hyatt Int'l Corp.
v. Coco, 302 F.3d 707, 715 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing
RAR, Inc. v. Turner Diesel Ltd.,107 F.3d 1272, 1276
(7th Cir. 1997)). The Court sees nothing in this case
indicating that in this particular situation the federal and
state standards should yield a different result. ...