Thornton et al v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. et al
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Amy J. St. Eve on 8/6/2013: The Court denies without prejudice Airservices Australia's and Plaintiffs' Motion for a Good Faith Finding 138 . Mailed notice(kef, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
TRAD THORNTON et al.,
HAMILTON SUNDSTRAND CORP.,
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC., )
and JEPPESEN SANDERSON, INC.,
AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA, INC.,
No. 12 C 329
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
AMY J. ST. EVE, District Court Judge:
Before the Court is Airservices Australia’s and Plaintiffs’ Motion for a good faith finding
of its settlement with Plaintiffs pursuant to 735 ILCS 100/2 and to dismiss all claims against
Airservices with prejudice. (R. 138) For the following reasons, the Court denies the Motion
This case arises from a 2005 airplane crash near Lockhart River in Queensland,
Australia. Plaintiffs bring wrongful death negligence and strict liability claims against
Defendants Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Jeppesen
Sanderson Inc., and Matthew Hier (collectively “Defendants”). Defendants, in turn, have
brought contribution and indemnity claims against Airservices Australia (“Airservices”).
Plaintiffs are the representatives of decedents who were killed in the crash of a Fairchild
SA227-DC Metro 23 Aircraft on May 7, 2005. (R. 111) Transair operated the flight as an Aero
Tropics Airservices Flight from Bamaga to Cairns with an intermediate stop in Lockhart River,
Australia. The decedents were all residents of Australia. (R. 155-1, Pls. Proposed Third Am.
Compl. (“TAC”) ¶ 3.) Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. (“Hamilton Sundstrand”) is a Delaware
corporation with its headquarters in Connecticut. (Id. ¶ 2.) Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.
(“Jeppesen”) is a Delaware corporation with its headquarters in Colorado. (Id.; R. 1-4, Jeppesen
Ans. & Counterclaims 25). Honeywell International, Inc. (“Honeywell”) is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in New Jersey. Matthew Hier, an engineer
manager for Hamilton Sundstrand, is a resident of Illinois. (TAC ¶ 2.) Airservices is a
“statutory body corporate that is wholly owned by the Australian government” and which
“provided aeronautical information for aircraft that fly into, out of or through the Australian
Flight Information Region,” or the “Australian airspace.” (R. 71, Airservices Ans. to Claims of
M7 Aerospace, LP ¶¶ 6,8.)
The Court assumes familiarity with the relevant facts as set forth in its July 24, 2013
Order. (R. 171.) Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Honeywell and Hamilton Sundstrand
“designed, manufactured, assembled, and sold” a defective Ground Proximity Warning System
(“GPWS”) that operated in the aircraft and caused it to crash. (TAC ¶ 5) With respect to
Jeppesen, Plaintiffs further allege that it “produced and sold certain charts for instrument
approaches to Lockhart River Aerodrome, including charts for a Runway 12 RNAV (GNSS)
approach.” (Id. ¶¶ 4-5.) In its third-party claims against Airservices, Jeppesen alleges that
Airservices generated and distributed data, which Jeppesen “used to produce and sell charts for
instrument approaches to the Lockhart River Aerodrome.” (Jeppesen Ans. & Counterclaims at
26.) Hamilton Sundstrand and Honeywell allege that Airservices designed the approach to
Runway 12 at Lockhart River Aerodrome, advised the Australian Transport Bureau of the
redesign, and published a chart setting forth the redesign procedure. (Honeywell, Hamilton
Sundstrand, and Matthew Hier’s Third-Party Compl., R. 26-3, at ¶ 8.)
Airservices and Plaintiffs now move for a good faith finding by the Court of their
proposed settlement pursuant to the Illinois Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act (“IJTCA”), 740
ILCS 100/2, and to dismiss Airservices from the case. Defendants argue that because the law of
Queensland, Australia, rather than Illinois, governs the effect of any settlement between
Plaintiffs and Airservices on the third-party claims, the IJTCA does not apply. In the alternative,
Defendants contend that even if Illinois law and the IJTCA applies, Airservices has not satisfied
its burden of demonstrating that Airservices’s proposed settlement with Plaintiffs is in good
faith. The parties do not argue in this Motion that the laws of any other jurisdictions apply to
Applicability of Choice-of-Law Analysis
Airservices initially argues that the Court need not conduct a choice-of-law analysis to
resolve its Motion. Instead, according to Airservices, because Plaintiffs invoke the Illinois
Wrongful Death Statute in their claims and the proposed settlement agreement addresses those
claims, Illinois law “inescapably” governs the effect of any settlement between Plaintiffs and
Airservices on Defendants’ contribution claims against Airservices.
The IJTCA provides a right of contribution in actions “where 2 or more persons are
subject to liability in tort arising out of the same injury to person or property, or the same
wrongful death,” 740 ILCS 100/1, 2(a) (West 1996), if a tortfeasor pays more than his pro rata
share of the common liability. See 740 ILCS 100/2(b). Section 100/2(c) states:
When a release or covenant not to sue or not to enforce judgment is given in good faith to
one or more persons liable in tort arising out of the same injury or the same wrongful
death, it does not discharge any of the other tortfeasors from liability for the injury or
wrongful death unless its terms so provide but it reduces the recovery on any claim
against the others to the extent of any amount stated in the release or the covenant, or in
the amount of the consideration actually paid for it, whichever is greater.
As is relevant here, Section 100/2(d) further provides:
The tortfeasor who settles with a claimant pursuant to paragraph (c) is discharged from
all liability for any contribution to any other tortfeasor.
Airservices’s argument falls short for several reasons. Airservices provides no authority
for the proposition that the IJTCA “by its terms controls the effect of a settlement of a claim
asserted under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.” (R. 154, Airservices Reply 3 & n.3.) On the
contrary, the plain language of the provision merely describes the effect of a good faith release
or covenant, if any, on the liability of other tortfeasors with respect to torts arising from the
“same injury or wrongful death.” It does not require that the provision apply in all wrongful
death suits. Moreover, other courts have reached a choice-of-law analysis in resolving a motion
for a good faith finding. See Matter of Colo. Springs Air Crash, 867 F. Supp. 630, 634 (N.D. Ill.
1994). Accordingly, the Court will proceed to the choice-of-law inquiry.
The Choice of Law Analysis
A Conflict Exists Between the IJCTA and the Law of Queensland, Australia
The first step in the choice-of-law inquiry is to determine whether there is an actual
conflict between the laws of the relevant jurisdictions. See In re Aircrash Disaster Near
Roselawn, Ind., No. 95 C 4593, 1997 WL 572897, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 9, 1997) (“[W]e need not
decide choice of law questions unless there is a conflict between the laws of the various
interested jurisdictions.”). Thus, the Court must determine whether there is a conflict between
Section 2(d) of the IJTCA and the law of Queensland, Australia.
It is well-established that the good-faith requirement of Section 2(d) of the IJCTA
“extinguishes the contribution liability of the settling tortfeasor.” Johnson v. United Airlines,
203 Ill. 2d 121, 128, 784 N.E.2d 812, 818 (Ill. 2003.) In contrast, Defendants argue that the law
of Queensland, Australia does not discharge liability from a settling tortfeasor. Rather, a settling
tortfeasor is still liable for contribution, but is entitled to a credit for the amount already paid. In
support of their position, Defendants submit a declaration of the Honorable Richard Noel
Chesterman, a retired justice of the Court of Appeal Division of the Supreme Court of
Queensland. (R. 148, Chesterman Decl. ¶ 1.) Justice Chesterman avers that, under the law of
Australia and Queensland, excluding Tasmania, a “settlement against one concurrent tortfeasor
absolving it from further liability to the plaintiff will not defeat a claim for contribution by
another defendant because the settling defendant would have been liable prior to the settlement.”
(Id. ¶ 7.) Defendants further cite case law and treatises supporting this proposition. See, e.g.,
Harper v. Gray & Walker  2 All ER 507;1 Harold Luntz & David Hambly, Torts: Cases
and Commentary, Australia, § 18.2.8 (“Outside Tasmania, a tortfeasor who has settled is
exposed to a claim for contribution from a tortfeasor who is held liable by judgment, or settles
later than the first, and believes that the first tortfeasor has not borne that tortfeasor’s full share
of the loss.”). (Chesterman Decl. ¶¶ 7-13,15.) Airservices does not dispute these contentions.
Therefore, for the purposes of this Motion, a conflict exists between Illinois and Australian law
on the issue of whether a good-faith settlement discharges a settling tortfeasor’s contribution
liability to a non-settling tortfeasor.
Applicable Choice-of-Law Rules
Because a conflict exists, the Court must next consider which choice-of-law rules apply
in resolving this conflict. See Roselawn, 1997 WL 572897, at *1. For cases in which 28 U.S.C.
§ 1330 provides subject matter jurisdiction,2 the Seventh Circuit has not squarely decided
whether the forum state or federal common law choice of law rules govern. This question also
remains unsettled among the other Circuits. Compare Karaha Bodas Co. v. Perusahaan
Pertambangan Minyak Dan Gas Bumi Negara, 313 F.3d 70, 85 (2d Cir. 2002); Oveissi v.
Although Harper is an English case, Defendants have provided Australian cases that
implicitly recognize it as authority. See, e.g., Foster v. Woolworths Ltd.,  ACTSC 11,
2004 WL 3512798 (Sup. Ct. of the Australian Capital Territory); Dimmah Invs. Pty. Ltd. v
Chooka’s Int’l Pty. Ltd.,  WASC 211 (Sup. Ct. Western Australia).
The unique procedural posture of this case further complicates this question. On July
24, 2013, the Court determined that it has subject-matter jurisdiction over Defendants’ claims
against Airservices under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1330, 1605.
The Court, however, had previously determined that it has diversity jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’
claims against Defendants. (R. 42, Order Denying Pls. Mot. to Sever and Remand.) In addition,
the choice-of-law issue here–the effect of a proposed settlement between Plaintiffs and
Airservices–against which Plaintiffs have no claims pending– on Defendants’ contribution rights
against Airservices touches both jurisdictional bases.
Islamic Republic of Iran, 573 F.3d 835, 841 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (“We thus agree with the Second
Circuit that applying the forum state’s choice-of-law principles, rather than constructing a set of
federal common law principles, better effectuates Congress’ intent . . . in FSIA actions.”);
Northrop Grumman Ship Sys., Inc. v. Ministry of Def. of Republic of Venezuela, 575 F.3d 491,
498 (5th Cir. 2009) (“Because this case arises under the FSIA, we apply the choice-of-law rules
of the forum state.”), with Harris v. Polskie Linie Lotnicze, 820 F.2d 1000, 1003 (9th Cir. 1987)
(applying federal common law choice-of-law rules). Nonetheless, because both federal common
law choice of law rules and Illinois choice of law rules look to the Restatement (Second)
Conflict of Laws, see Berger v. AXA Network LLC, 459 F.3d 804, 811 (7th Cir. 2006); Townsend
v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 227 Ill. 2d 147, 161, 879 N.E.2d 893, 901-02 (Ill. 2007), the Court
need not decide this question at this stage.
Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws
IJTCA Is Not a Statutory Choice-of-Law Directive
Section 6 of the Second Restatement provides that “[a] court, subject to constitutional
restrictions, will follow a statutory directive of its own state on choice of law.” Restatement
(Second) § 6. Section 6 then lists the factors courts should consider in the absence of such a
statutory choice-of-law directive. Airservices contends that the IJTCA constitutes a statutory
directive on choice-of-law that trumps other Restatement provisions.
This argument is unpersuasive for several reasons. First, the language of Section 102(d)
of the IJTCA mentions nothing about choice of law. Airservices did not cite–nor did the Court
find–any case law construing Section 102(d) of the IJTCA in this manner. The statute is also
unlike those “rare” choice-of-law statutory directives that the Section 6 comments reference as
examples. See Restatement (Second) Conflict of Laws § 6(1) (“Restatement (Second)”), cmt.
a,b. (noting a “court will rarely find that a question of choice of law is explicitly covered by
statute”). As such, this argument fails.
Because there is no choice-of-law statutory directive on point, the Court turns to the
remainder of the Second Restatement analysis. This inquiry begins with the question of
“characterization,” that is, the “classification of a given factual situation under the appropriate
legal categories and specific rules of law, and (2) definition or interpretation of the terms
employed in the legal categories and rules of law.” See Restatement (Second) § 7, cmt. b.)
Characterization involves application of the principle of depecage. Ruiz v. Blentech Corp., 89
F.3d 320, 324 (7th Cir. 1996). Depecage is the “process of cutting up a case into individual
issues, each subject to a separate choice-of-law analysis,” by which the laws of two different
jurisdictions may apply in same case. Ruiz, 89 F.3d at 324; see Spinozzi v. ITT Sheraton Corp.,
174 F.3d 842, 848 (7th Cir. 1999).3
With respect to characterization, Defendants invoke Section 173 of the Second
Restatement, which addresses “contribution and indemnity among tortfeasors.” Restatement
(Second) § 173. Section 173 provides that “[t]he law selected by application of the rule of § 145
determines whether one tortfeasor has a right to contribution or indemnity against another
tortfeasor.” Restatement (Second) § 173. Section 145, in turn, provides the general rule for tort
Accordingly, the Court’s ruling as to the choice of law issue raised by the present
Motion does not necessarily apply to other choice of law issues in this case or with respect to
cases. Section 173 is the most appropriate section to apply here because the issue is the effect of
a settlement agreement on Defendants’ contribution rights against Airservices.
Section 145 - “Most Significant Relationship” Test
Under the Second Restatement, tort cases require application of the “most significant
relationship” test. See Abad v. Bayer Corp., 563 F.3d 663, 669 (7th Cir. 2009). Section 145 of
the Restatement sets forth the test as follows: the “rights and liabilities of the parties with respect
to an issue in tort are determined by the local law of the state which, with respect to that issue,
has the most significant relationship to the occurrence and the parties under the principles stated
in § 6.” Restatement (Second) § 145. Section 6 lists the following principles: (1) “the needs of
the interstate and international systems;” (2) “the relevant policies of the forum,” (3) “the
relevant policies of other interested states and the relative interests of those states in the
determination of the particular issue,” (4) “the protection of justified expectations,” (5) “the
basic policies underlying the particular field of law,” (6) “certainty, predictability and uniformity
of result,” and (7) “ease in the determination and application of the law to be applied.”
Restatement (Second) § 6. The comments specify that the importance of each of the factors
varies depending upon the facts of the case and legal issues presented. Id. § 6, cmt. c.
Presumptively Applicable Law under Section 146
Before applying the Section 6 principles to determine which jurisdiction has the most
significant relationship to the issue, however, a court must consider whether the “presumptively”
applicable law governs. See Townsend, 227 Ill. 2d at 164 (“Generally speaking, then, the
Second Restatement contemplates a two-step process in which the court (1) chooses a
presumptively applicable law under the appropriate jurisdiction-selecting rule, and (2) tests this
choice against the principles of § 6 in light of relevant contacts identified by general provisions
like § 145 (torts) and § 188 (contracts)”).
Here, Defendants contend that Section 146,4 which governs personal injury actions,
should supply the presumptive rule. (Defs.’ Resp. 6.) Section 146 provides the following:
The rule of this Section calls for application of the local law of the state where the injury
occurred unless, with respect to the particular issue, some other state has a more
significant relationship to the occurrence and the parties. Whether there is such another
state should be determined in the light of the choice-of-law principles stated in § 6.
Restatement (Second) § 146.
In determining whether a jurisdiction other than the place of injury has a more significant
relationship, courts should consider “among other things, the purpose sought to be achieved by
[the] relevant local law rules and of the particular issue.” Restatement (Second) § 146, cmt. c.
The Restatement further provides that the “likelihood that some state other than that where the
injury occurred is the state of most significant relationship is greater in those relatively rare
situations where, with respect to the particular issue, the state of injury bears little relation to the
occurrence and the parties.” Id. Under Section 146, the presumptively applicable law is the law
of Queensland, Australia. The accident in question is the crash of a domestic flight in Australia.
The only genuine dispute is whether Illinois has a more significant relationship than Australia to
the occurrence and the parties such that it overcomes the presumption in favor of Australian law
The Court notes that were it to apply Section 175, which addresses wrongful death
actions, the outcome would not change. Section 175 similarly applies the “most significant
relationship” test and incorporates the presumptive place-of-injury rule of section 146. See
Restatement (Second) § 175 & cmt. a (“the local law of the state where the injury occurred
determines the rights and liabilities of the parties unless, with respect to the particular issue,
some other state has a more significant relationship under the principles stated in § 6 to the
occurrence and the parties, in which event the local law of the other state will be applied”).
as that of the place of injury. It does not.
Australia Has the Most Significant Relationship to the Parties and the
The Section 6 factors and the contacts identified in Section 145 for tort cases dictate
whether Illinois overcomes the presumption in favor of Queensland law. See id. § 145. Section
145 provides the following contacts: (1) the place where the injury occurred; (2) the place where
the conduct causing the injury occurred; (3) the domicile, residence, nationality, place of
incorporation and place of business of the parties; and (4) the place where the relationship, if
any, between the parties is centered. See id.
Here, the contacts with Australia are significant. The injury occurred in Australia, and all
the decedents were Australian residents. In addition, nearly all of the special administrators and
administrators of decedents’ estates are citizens and residents of Australia.5 Airservices is
located in Australia and is owned by the Australian government. Furthermore, the parties do not
contest in this Motion that the sale of the allegedly defective Jeppesen charts at issue to the
Australian pilots of the aircraft, who are among the decedents in this case, occurred in Australia.
By comparison, Illinois has few contacts to the parties and the occurrence. Although Plaintiffs
have alleged that a number of Defendants do business in Illinois, they are incorporated in other
states. (Pls.’ TAC ¶ 2.)6 In addition, the parties have not presented evidence that the
relationship of the parties is otherwise “centered” in Illinois, apart from its status as the forum
Plaintiff administrator Gillian Hurst is a citizen of the United States. (See R. 155-1,
Pls.’ TAC ¶ 1.)
Although Matthew Hier, an individual employee of Hamilton Sundstrand allegedly
resides and works in Illinois, his role thus far in the litigation has not been as central as those of
the other Defendants.
Viewing these contacts through the Section 6 factors, the presumption remains that
Australia has the most significant relationship to the parties and the occurrence. In addition to
the extensive contacts between the occurrence and the parties and Australia, Australia has an
interest in the application of its law to the issue of the effect of any settlement between
Plaintiffs–who are primarily citizens and residents of Australia–and Airservices, an entity owned
by the Australian government that provides aeronautical information for entities flying in
In contrast, Illinois does not have a strong interest in the application of the IJCTA to this
issue, let alone one that would create a more significant relationship to the occurrence than
Australia. In determining whether a state has an interest in the application of its law, courts look
to the policy behind the law. See Townsend, 227 Ill. 2d at 170. The purposes of the IJTCA are
to “encourage compromise and settlement in the absence of bad faith, fraud[,] or collusion” and
to “allow for an equitable sharing of damages among tortfeasors according to their relative
culpability.” Orejel v. York Int’l Corp., Inc., 287 Ill. App. 3d 592, 599, 678 N.E.2d 683, 688 (Ill.
App. Ct. 1997). Accordingly,“[t]he ‘good faith’ of a settlement is the only limitation which the
Act places on the right to settle.” Johnson, 203 Ill. 2d at 128.
Cases applying the IJCTA to torts occurring outside of Illinois within the framework of
the “most significant relationship” test are sparse. Generally, a jurisdiction will have an interest
in applying its law to damages or other loss-allocation issues in a tort case in which the place of
injury is outside the state when the tort victims are residents or domiciliaries of that state. See,
e.g., Schoeberle v. United States, No. 99 C 0352, 2000 WL 1868130, at *12 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 18,
2000) aff’d and adopted, 99 C 352, 2001 WL 292984 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 26, 2001) (applying law of
decedents’ domicile rather than law of place of injury to compensatory damages); see Abad, 563
F.3d at 669 (noting that “when the place of the accident is also the place in which the victims
were injured and were resident . . . that offsets the argument that the jurisdiction of the defendant
has an interest in regulating the conduct of its people and firms.”).
Airservices has not alleged or argued that any of the parties to the proposed settlement
have any connection to Illinois. Moreover, the parties have not relied on a theory that the injurycausing conduct occurred in Illinois. Indeed, the parties have argued throughout the case that the
allegedly injury-causing conduct allegedly occurred in Washington–the location of the design
and manufacture of the GPWS–or Colorado or Australia–the locations of conduct occurring in
connection with Jeppesen’s preparation of the navigation charts. (See R. 164, Hamilton
Sundstrand Resp. to Pls. Mot. for Leave to File Am. Compl. 5-6; R. 168, 169, Defs.’ and
Airservices’s Responses to Sua Sponte Order on FSIA Subject Matter Jurisdiction.) Thus,
Illinois does not have a sufficient interest in encouraging Airservices to settle with Plaintiffs by
preventing Defendants from seeking contribution liability against Airservices. Compare Matter
of Colo. Springs Air Crash, 867 F. Supp. at 636 (noting Illinois’s strong policy in encouraging
settlement, “when coupled with the other significant contacts Illinois has with this case
[including that one of the defendant’s principal place of business was Illinois], compels the
application of Illinois’ contribution statute in this case.”). Even if Illinois did have some interest
in applying the IJTCA to the effect of the settlement, given the extensive contacts and
connections to Australia, it would not be strong enough to tip the balance of the most significant
relationship test in favor of Illinois. See Abad, 563 F.3d at 669-70 (“[I]n the absence of unusual
circumstances, the highest scorer on the ‘most significant relationship’ test is the place where the
In opposing the application of Australian law, Airservices relies largely on the logic that
because Plaintiffs have brought claims under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, Illinois law should
also govern any issues involving the third-party contribution claims. That position is not
consistent with the Restatement principle of depecage, by which “[a]ll issues in tort need not be
governed by a single law.” See Schoeberle, 2000 WL 1868130, at *3 (“[U]nder the doctrine of
depecage, it is not uncommon for courts to apply the substantive law of several different states in
resolving air crash cases.”) (quoting In re Air Crash Disaster Near Roselawn, Ind. on Oct. 31,
1994, 926 F. Supp. 736, 740 (N.D. Ill. 1996)). Nor do the handful of cases Airservices cite, in
which the courts happen to apply the same law to the contribution issue as the underlying claim,
stand for the broader proposition that the Restatement favors this approach. Rather, the thrust of
these cases is that the respective interests of states vary with the application of the Restatement
factors to a particular case. See Palmer v. Freightliner, LLC, 889 N.E.2d 1204, 1212, 383 Ill.
App. 3d 57, 66 (Ill. App. Ct. 2008) (holding Illinois rather than Ohio law applied to issue of
whether workmen’s compensation payment to plaintiff immunized third-party defendant from
further contribution liability on a manufacturer for injury occurring at a Illinois facility pursuant
to contract performed in Illinois in light of Illinois policy in favor of allowing contribution);
Mech v. Pullman Standard, 136 Ill. App. 3d 939, 943, 484 N.E.2d 776, 779 (Ill. App. Ct. 1984)
(applying Indiana rather than Illinois law to contribution and indemnity issues when Illinois
contacts were only “that the forum court and Pullman’s principal place of business are located
there and Steel Builders, an Indiana corporation, does business in that state”).
Nor does Wreglesworth ex rel. Wreglesworth v. Arctco, Inc., 316 Ill. App. 3d 1023, 1034,
738 N.E.2d 964, 973 (Ill. App. Ct. 2000), in which an Illinois court applied a provision of the
IJTCA to a tort occurring in Indiana, point to the application of Illinois law in these
circumstances. In Wreglesworth, an Illinois appellate court considered the issue of whether
Indiana or Illinois law governed the effect of a release from liability in connection with a
watercraft collision occurring in Indiana. In holding that Illinois law governed, the court noted
that while Indiana was the place of injury and residency of the owner of the watercraft, “[o]f far
more importance to [the] issue [was] that the release was executed in Illinois, and that three of
the four parties who were named . . . were either domiciled or headquartered in Illinois, which
thus has an obvious interest in how such a release is to be interpreted.”). See 316 Ill. App. 3d at
1034. Here, Airservices has not made clear whether the parties intend to execute the settlement
agreement in Illinois. Regardless, Airservices has not alleged or argued that any of the
representatives are residents of Illinois.7
In addition to the interests of the respective jurisdictions, the other relevant Section 6
factors weigh in favor of the application of Australian law. It is not clear how the needs of the
international system would favor the application of Illinois law to the settlement of an accident
so clearly centered in Australia. As the parties have represented in other filings in this case, the
crash was one of the largest disasters in Australian history, and the Australian Transportation
Safety Bureau has led an extensive investigation of the accident. (See R. 164.) Although all of
the defendant companies are incorporated or have their principal places of business in the United
Even if there were some minimal connection to Illinois with respect to the
representatives, that would not override Australia’s interest in the application of its law.
States, it is not clear why Illinois law in particular should apply, especially when none of the
corporate defendants are incorporated or have their principal place of business here. Indeed, the
only factor favoring Illinois law is the ease of its application in comparison to Australian law.
That factor alone, however, is insufficient to override Australia’s significant relationship to the
occurrence with respect to this issue. Therefore, the Court finds that the law of Queensland,
Australia governs the effect of any settlement between Airservices and Plaintiffs on Defendants’
third-party contribution and indemnity claims against Airservices.
Nonetheless, this holding does not preclude the Court from determining whether
Airservices’ entered the proposed settlement with the Plaintiffs in good faith. The Court cannot,
however, as a result of any such determination, apply the IJTCA to dismiss the third-party claims
against Airservices. If the parties should wish the Court to make such a finding based upon other
authority, it may renew its motion.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court denies without prejudice Airservices’s and
Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Good Faith Finding.
Date: August 6, 2013
AMY J. ST. EVE
United States District Court Judge
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