Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case Russell v. SNFA and the criminal cases People v. Domagala, People v. Martinez, People v. Lloyd and People v. Colyar.
By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.
This helicopter-crash case provoked two important long-arm-jurisdiction issues: whether due process protection under the Illinois long-arm statute is greater than federal due process protectionsand whether to apply a narrow or broad version of the stream-of-commerce theory.
Defendant SNFA manufactured a custom tail-rotor bearing in France used in a helicopter manufactured by an Italian company. That manufacturer’s wholly-owned subsidiary located in Pennsylvania sells defendant-produced parts and sells helicopters incorporating defendant’s parts. SNFA knew that the manufacturer incorporated its products into its helicopters for sale in America but did not know the final destination.
SNFA does not have any direct United States customers for its custom-made helicopter parts. SNFA does not have any offices, property, assets or employees in Illinois.
Since 1997, SNFA has sold aerospace bearings to a company located in Rockford. Those bearings are a different model and type from those involved in this case.
A helicopter containing an SNFA part crashed in Illinois.