Segal McCambridge attorney, Kimberly Hayden, successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction on behalf of a Mississippi bus company, Delta Bus Lines, in a transportation negligence action. The Honorable Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois issued a written memorandum opinion and order quoting from the motion and reply brief.
Plaintiff, an Illinois resident, was allegedly injured in a rear-end collision while a passenger on Delta's bus, which was on route from Memphis, Tennessee to Greenville, Mississippi.
Plaintiff filed suit in Illinois state court against Delta and Greyhound Lines, Inc. In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged negligence against Delta and Greyhound pursuant to an agency relationship. The case was removed to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction. Thereafter, Delta filed its motion to dismiss, alleging it does not conduct any business within the state, therefore is not subject to the court's personal jurisdiction.
Plaintiff responded with alternative arguments. First, Greyhound acted as an agent for Delta when it sold the bus ticket to Plaintiff in Illinois. Alternatively, Delta conducted sufficient business in Illinois by virtue of its agent, Greyhound, to expect to be haled into an Illinois court and so as not to offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
In applying the Illinois long arm statute, the Court found in favor of Delta's arguments and concluded Plaintiff failed to establish sufficient evidence to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction over it.