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MB Financial Bank, N.A. v. Marshall Investments Corp.

September 16, 2009

MB FINANCIAL BANK, N.A., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARSHALL INVESTMENTS CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS,
KRONES, INC., ET AL., THIRD PARTY DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

SYNOPSIS

In this civil action, Plaintiff filed an action against several parties, including the Marshall Defendants and CIT,*fn1 seeking to recover losses incurred as a result of its participation in a transaction involving Le-Natures' purchase of bottling equipment. The action rests on allegedly fraudulent conduct that induced Plaintiff to enter into the transaction.

The Marshall Defendants and CIT have filed Third-party Complaints against Defendants Krones and Sommer, seeking contribution and indemnity for the claims against them. Because they are substantially similar, and Third-Party Defendants treat them collectively, the Third-Party Complaints will be treated collectively herein. They allege that Sommer, as CEO of Krones, was aware of, consented to, and participated in fraudulent financial schemes and a conspiracy targeting institutions in Illinois, including the Marshall Defendants and CIT. Sommer has moved to dismiss the Third-Party Complaint filed against him, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6), for both lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. (Docket No. 80).

For the following reasons, the Motion will be denied in part and granted in part.

OPINION

I. Applicable Standards

A. 12(b)(6)

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), all factual allegations, and all reasonable inferences therefrom, must be accepted as true and viewed in a light most favorable to the plaintiff. Colburn v. Upper Darby Twp., 838 F. 2d 66, 666 (3d Cir. 1988). In ruling a motion for failure to state a claim, I must look to "whether sufficient facts are pleaded to determine that the complaint is not frivolous, and to provide the defendants with adequate notice to frame an answer." Id. at 666. Complaints "need not plead law or match facts to every element of a legal theory." Weston v. Pennsylvania, 251 F. 3d 420, 429 (3d Cir. 2001). I must look, however, to whether the complaint "contain[s] either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements necessary to sustain recovery under some viable legal theory." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1969, 167 L.Ed. 2d 929 (2007). Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."

B. 12(b)(2)

"Because federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, a presumption arises that they are without jurisdiction until the contrary affirmatively appears." Donaldson v. Informatica Corp., No. 8-605, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15528, at * 18 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 25, 2009). "'The person asserting jurisdiction bears the burden of showing that the case is properly before the court at all stages of the litigation." Id. Moreover, "[t]he plaintiff may not rely on the pleadings to satisfy his burden but must establish a basis for personal jurisdiction through sworn affidavits or other competent evidence." Id. For purposes of a Rule 12(b)(2) motion, the court applies the same standard for truthfulness and inferences as in a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Id. at *19.

II. Defendant's Motion

A. Personal Jurisdiction

Plaintiff argues that Sommer has insufficient contacts with the state of Illinois, where this ...


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