Matushek Nilles LLC initially won a highly contested motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction before Judge Clare McWilliams in Cook County Circuit Court on November 26, 2019. The plaintiff, represented by the Clifford Law Offices, argued that the Illinois court had jurisdiction over U. S. Steel, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Pittsburgh, for her premises liability claim involving U. S. Steel’s Gary Works in Indiana, on the bases that 1) U. S. Steel “purposely directed its activities” at Illinois because it hired an Illinois subcontractor that employed the plaintiff’s decedent who resided in Illinois, and 2) the plaintiff’s decedent returned home with dust and dirt on his clothes and was somehow exposed to asbestos in Illinois from U. S. Steel. We refuted the evidence presented by the plaintiff and argued that these circumstances were far too attenuated and speculative to establish a connection between the defendant’s alleged negligent maintenance of its Indiana premises and its purposeful affiliations with the state of Illinois and therefore haling U. S. Steel into an Illinois court for an Indiana premises claim violated its right to due process. The court first agreed with our position, and granted our motion to dismiss. More than 60 days later, on a motion to reconsider, the court reversed course and denied the motion on January 29, 2020. The court applied a “but-for” analysis, and ruled that because our client contracted with an Illinois employer of the plaintiff, the court has jurisdiction over an Indiana premises owner. A petition for leave to appeal has been filed.
A copy of the court’s initial 13 page Memorandum Opinion and Order is available here: Riebel Order 15L2124 . For a copy of the order on reconsideration and further information, contact Ed Matushek at firstname.lastname@example.org