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Illinois Supreme Court Orders 5th District to Take Appeal on Daimler
Illinois Supreme Court Orders 5th District to Take Appeal on Daimler Jurisdiction Issue
The Illinois Supreme Court has issued a supervisory order requiring the Illinois Appellate 5th District Court to take an appeal from the Madison County Circuit Court. Judge Stephen Stobbs of the Madison County Circuit Court recently denied the jurisdiction motion of Ford Motor Company in the asbestos lawsuit brought by Irene Jeffs, Individually and as Special Administrator for the Estate of Dale E. Jeffs, Deceased, Ct. No. 15-L-533. Judge Stobbs, the current asbestos docket judge in that jurisdiction, ruled that Ford’s contacts with the state of Illinois are substantial and thus the court can exercise jurisdiction over that defendant, notwithstanding the arguments raised from Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746, 760 (U.S. 2014). In Daimler, the court stated that there is no general jurisdiction where defendant’s state of incorporation and principle place of business are not in the state in which defendant is being sued, unless the corporation’s affiliations with the State in which suit is brought are so constant and pervasive as to render [it] essentially ‘at home’ in that forum State. After Judge Stobbs denied the motion to dismiss, the Illinois Appellate 5th District Court refused the interlocutory appeal that ensued.
The Illinois Supreme Court then issued a supervisory order requiring the 5th District to hear the appeal. The 5th District panel that initially denied the appeal was comprised of three justices, i.e. Melissa Chapman, Bruce Stewart and Judy Cates. As you may already be aware, 2 of those justices, Melissa Chapman (formerly of the Lakin Law Firm) and Judy Cates (formerly of the Cates Law Firm) formerly practiced with asbestos plaintiff firms. Regardless of which way the 5th District rules, it is very likely there will be further appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court and possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court on this issue.