Morton Grove Pharms., Inc. v. Nat’l. Pediculosis Assoc., __ F. Supp.2d __, 2007 WL 1302971 (N.D. Ill. May 3, 2007) (Bucklo, J.).
Judge Bucklo granted defendants’ motion and dismissed plaintiff’s deceptive trade practices case for lack of personal jurisdiction. Defendants’ sporadic contacts with Illinois did not confer general jurisdiction. Plaintiff manufactures a line of lotions and shampoo which are FDA-approved for treating lice and scabies. Defendants are a Michigan non-profit group, Ecology Center, Inc., and related individuals (collectively the "Center"), as well as the National Pediculosis Association which is not a party to the motion to dismiss.The Center mailed two newsletters related to passage of Michigan legislation to approximately 19,000 addresses of which 44 were in Illinois. 99% of the Center’s donors were from Michigan, with just .23% from Illinois (18 Illinois-based donors total). The Center’s strongest ties to Illinois consisted of two donations totaling $270,000 from an Illinois-based foundation and an interactive website which accepts donations, although none have come from Illinois. The Court held that these occasional contacts did not rise to the level of continuous and systematic, as required for general jurisdiction.
Plaintiff also argued that the newsletters sent to Illinois, the injury the Center inflicted upon plaintiff in Illinois and the Center’s responses to plaintiff’s cease and desist letters created specific jurisdiction. The Court held that the newsletters could not create specific jurisdiction because they were not the basis for plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff’s alleged harm in Illinois did not create specific jurisdiction because the harm did not arise out of the Center’s contacts with Illinois. Furthermore, plaintiff provided no evidence that the alleged false statements were made in Illinois or were targeted toward Illinois residents. Finally, the Court held that a single response to plaintiff’s cease and desist letter could not create specific jurisdiction, particularly where the dispute does not arise out of the cease and desist letter.