Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Denial of Motion to Dismiss for Manufacturer in Fatal Plane Crash Case

When a devastating accident takes place, one of the most frustrating aspects of trying to secure the compensation that you deserve is determining which defendants are liable. There are countless different procedural rules that apply to personal injury cases and certain steps that must be taken to ensure that the right parties are in the lawsuit. Some potential defendants will try to make things as difficult as possible to avoid being named in a lawsuit or to be dismissed from the lawsuit once they are named. The dedicated Chicago personal injury lawyers of Therman Law Offices are prepared to help you assert your rights and obtain the fair treatment that you deserve.

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in a case involving a plane crash that resulted in the deaths of seven men during April 2015. The estates of the decedents each filed a claim for negligence in Illinois against the maker of component parts for the aircraft and other related defendants. The manufacturer filed a motion seeking dismissal from the lawsuit claiming that the court did not have jurisdiction over the company.

The director of operations for the manufacturer described the company as a Texas limited liability partnership that engages in overhauling engines and selling aircraft parts. It advertises its services and products in several aviation magazines and is registered to do business in Texas. It performed most of its work in Texas and Illinois customers accounted for roughly 1% of its total revenues. The director admitted that the company sold component parts to an aviation company in Illinois and that between 2012 and 2016 it sold component parts to several other companies in Illinois.

Records for the aircraft showed that the manufacturer overhauled the plane’s engine in March 2008. They also showed that in December 2013 and January 2014 companies that sourced parts from the manufacturer worked on the plane and installed various components.

The trial court denied the manufacturer’s motion to dismiss, prompting an appeal. On review, the manufacturer argues that the Illinois court cannot assert personal jurisdiction over the company. Before a court can exercise authority over a party, Constitutional law requires that the party have a certain number of minimum contacts with the state or forum where the court is located.

The appellate court disagreed with the manufacturer, finding that it exercised sufficient contacts with the State of Illinois to subject itself to liability in Illinois courts. It maintained an ongoing business relationship with six companies in Illinois and the plaintiffs provided enough facts in the complaint to suggest that the defendant acted negligently in causing the plane crash in Illinois of an Illinois-based plane. Therefore, the appellate court affirmed denial of the motion to dismiss.

If you are seeking compensation from a defendant following an injury accident, it is critical that you consult an experienced and dedicated Illinois personal injury attorney. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about our services and the options that may be available to you. Don’t wait, time may be running out on your claim. Call us now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.

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