Illinois Appellate Court Discusses Personal Jurisdiction in Pedestrian Car Accident Case

If you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the persons or companies who are responsible for your injuries. To protect your right to recovery, it is incredibly important that you follow all the applicable procedural rules governing how and where you should file your claim. This includes ensuring that you file the claim in the right court. The seasoned Chicago car accident attorneys at Therman Law Offices are prepared to assist you with investigating your claim and ensuring that you follow all the right rules in seeking compensation.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a case in which the defendants challenged a lawsuit alleging personal injuries on the basis that the court in which the lawsuit was filed did not have jurisdiction over them. The plaintiff filed the lawsuit seeking damages for injuries he sustained when he was struck in a supermarket parking lot by a vehicle being driven by the defendant’s employee. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the court lacked personal jurisdiction. It alleged that the plaintiff’s accident happened in Indiana, that the employee was an Indiana resident, and that the employer was a Massachusetts corporation with only limited operations in Illinois.

The plaintiff challenged this by alleging that the defendants, although not residents of Illinois, had operations within the state giving the court jurisdiction over them. Specifically, it argued that the company had availed itself of Illinois’ stream of commerce for a period of years by operating transit points at two locations in Illinois while delivering and picking up products over 35,000 times at over 140 locations. The lower court eventually entered an order without conducting a hearing or oral argument denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The defendants appealed.

On review, the appellate court concluded that the Illinois court did not have personal jurisdiction over the claim involving the plaintiff’s injury. The appellate court referenced Section 2-209(d)(4) of the state’s statutes, which gives courts in the state the right to exercise jurisdiction over corporations doing business within the state. Based on the evidence in the record, however, the appellate court concluded that there were not enough facts to support a finding that the employer had made itself essentially at home in the state. Even though it operated at two locations within the state and that its activities in the state accounted for 10% of its overall revenue, that level of activity was not sufficient.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, the determined attorneys at Therman Law Offices are prepared to assist you with ensuring that you receive the outcome that you deserve. We understand firsthand just how stressful and painful this situation can be for you and your loved ones. To help you learn more about the legal system and how to protect your rights, we offer a free and private consultation. Call our office as soon as possible at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.

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