What Is the Difference Between Obtaining Personal Jurisdiction Over a Corporation and Over One of the Corporation's Employees ?
In Mergenthaler Linotype Co. v. Leonard Storch Enterprises, Inc., 66 Ill. App. 3d 789, 383 N.E.2d 1379, 23 Ill. Dec. 352 (1978), the court discussed the distinction between obtaining personal jurisdiction over a corporation and obtaining personal jurisdiction over one of the corporation's employees, which in Mergenthaler was the corporation's president.
This court found that "the mere fact that a corporation by which a nonresident is employed, or in which he is a stockholder is itself subject to Illinois jurisdiction does not subject that non-resident to jurisdiction." Mergenthaler, 66 Ill. App. 3d at 797.
The court also stated that "any transaction of business with Illinois residents was by the corporation and not by the employee individually." Mergenthaler, 66 Ill. App. 3d at 797.
The court further found that although the corporation's president had traveled to Illinois, because the cause of action did not arise out of those trips, he was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Illinois. Mergenthaler, 66 Ill. App. 3d at 797.