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HSING CHOW v. UNION CENT. LIFE INS. CO.
September 29, 1978
HSING CHOW, Plaintiff,
The UNION CENTRAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: PLATT
Defendant moves for an order, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, dismissing each of the four Counts of the complaint herein on the ground that each Count fails to state a claim against defendant upon which relief can be granted.
This case arises from the termination of defendant Union Central Life Insurance Company's agency relationship with plaintiff Hsing Chow covering the sale of life insurance and annuity contracts in the Chinatown, New York City area and the substitution of one Johnny Fu, a named co-conspirator and alleged former employee of plaintiff's, as the new agent of defendant's for the aforementioned geographical region.
Plaintiff's complaint sets forth four separate claims based on this termination and substitution of agents by the defendant.
Plaintiff predicates this Court's jurisdiction of the first of the four claims on the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15 and 28 U.S.C. § 1337 and predicates this Court's jurisdiction of the last three causes of action on diversity of citizenship, the amount in controversy allegedly exceeding the statutory minimum of $ 10,000, exclusive of interests and costs, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), or in the alternative, on the doctrine of pendent jurisdiction.
Plaintiff alleges that proper venue in this Court is based on 15 U.S.C. §§ 15, 22 and 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), (c) and the facts that defendant "is an inhabitant of, is found or transacts business in, or has an agent in, the Eastern District of New York or is licensed to do business in the State of New York and is either doing business or licensed to do business in the Eastern District" and that "(t)he interstate trade and commerce in the offering, sale and issuance of life insurance and annuity contracts, and the transmittal of life insurance and annuity premiums, is carried on by defendant in part within the Eastern District. . . . "
As factual background to all four claims, plaintiff alleges in the first sixteen paragraphs of her complaint the following essential facts:
Plaintiff is a citizen and resident of the State of New York and defendant is an Ohio corporation with its principal place of business in the State of Ohio.
Plaintiff has done business in Chinatown, New York City since 1948, the principal place of business for her insurance business being 19 Mott Street, New York, N.Y. She has at all times been licensed as an insurance agent by the State of New York and has at all times been doing business under her own name (even while acting as defendant's agent).
Defendant has an office in this district at 420 Jericho Turnpike, Jericho, New York, as well as in the Southern District of New York at 225 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Defendant is duly licensed to transact business as an insurance company in all parts of the State of New York.
Beginning in 1965, plaintiff entered into an agency relationship with defendant to procure applications for life insurance and annuity contracts in the Chinatown, New York City area, and pursuant to such relationship, plaintiff developed a sales organization and market for defendant's insurance and annuity contracts in the aforementioned geographical area, affiliating with and training numerous Chinese-American and other insurance agents for that purpose. One of these agents who had been hired and trained by plaintiff was one Johnny Fu, a named co-conspirator. From 1965 to 1977, plaintiff, individually and through her sales organization, solicited a substantial number of applications for life insurance contracts which were accepted by defendant and insurance policies were issued thereon. Plaintiff's business with defendant under the agency agreement aggregated more than $ 40,000 each year in premiums which were paid directly by plaintiff to defendant's main office in Ohio.
Throughout this association with defendant, plaintiff's relationship to defendant was a "confidential relationship" in law pursuant to which plaintiff kept records of all transactions on behalf of defendant and made such records available to the defendant.
In addition to her insurance business, plaintiff also engaged from time to time in several businesses and commercial enterprises complementary and helpful to her insurance business such as an over-the-counter stock brokerage business and an export-import business.
Defendant has unlawfully contracted, combined or conspired with the named co-conspirators in performing or causing the ...
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