William J. Cremer, Thomas R. Pender, and Jennifer M. Lee Obtain Dismissal of Asian Client on Jurisdictional Grounds in Multi-Million Dollar Case


William J. Cremer, Thomas R. Pender, and Jennifer M. Lee successfully obtained the dismissal of a Chinese product manufacturer and its parent holding company based on lack of personal jurisdiction in a high-stakes, multi-million dollar products liability case. The case ultimately went up on appeal, and the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the dismissal. 

The case involved a catastrophic, single vehicle roll-over accident that injured numerous plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs sued multiple defendants in Illinois state court, including Cremer Spina’s insured clients, a Chinese wheel manufacturer and its holding company.  It was a hard-fought battle, including complex motion practice, extensive jurisdictional written discovery, and jurisdictional depositions overseas. 

In September of 2016, the Illinois trial court ruled in favor of the Chinese defendants and granted the motions to dismiss.  The plaintiffs and other defendants filed motions to reconsider, which was briefed and ultimately denied.  Undeterred, the plaintiffs and other defendants then filed an appeal in the Illinois appellate court.  Thomas R. Pender effectively argued in court that the Chinese defendants lacked the minimum contacts with the State of Illinois requisite to support personal jurisdiction over them in the lawsuit. 

In November of 2017, the Illinois appellate court affirmed.  The court found that the Chinese defendants were not subject to the personal jurisdiction of an Illinois court.  The Court further found that due process considerations under the U.S. Constitution favored dismissal of the Chinese defendants.  As a result, the Chinese defendants’ dismissal from the case was affirmed.