Envirogen Techs., Inc. v. Maxim Construction Corp., No. 14 C 2090, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 18, 2015) (Zagel, J.).

Judge Zagel denied defendant City of Crystal Lake’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss pursuant to the Colorado River doctrine in this patent and breach of contract case.

The Court considered the ten Colorado River factors, finding the following most relevant:

  • The federal and state cases were parallel actions, even though there were different parties and slightly different claims. There were enough factual similarities and the claims implicated enough common parties to be considered parallel actions.
  • The federal forum was not inconvenient.
  • Were the Court to dismiss the single challenged count, another count would still proceed in federal court. So, there would be piecemeal litigation regardless of whether the Court abstained.
  • The fact that Crystal Lake was not added to the federal suit until after the state suit was filed, did not change that the federal suit was first filed.
  • The federal suit was further along than the state suit, weighing against abstention.
  • Plaintiff did not file the claim against Crystal Lake for “vexatious or contrived purposes.”