Denial Of Food Company’s Federal Preemption Defense Not An Appealable Interlocutory Order

Tyson Foods moved for summary judgment in a class-action lawsuit. Tyson argued that the claims against it were preempted by federal law. The summary judgment motion was denied, and Tyson appealed.

Ordinarily, the denial of a summary judgment motion is not appealable because it is not a final judgment. But Tyson argued that the order denying its preemption defense was appealable under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 307. Rule 307 allows appeals of certain interlocutory orders, including those “granting, modifying, refusing, dissolving, or refusing to dissolve or
modify an injunction.” Tyson argued that the denial of the preemption defense “is subject to interlocutory appeal under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 307(a) … because the ‘preemption argument brings into issue the authority of the trial court to enter the order appealed from.’”

The Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court rejected Tyson’s argument and dismissed the appeal. Tyson’s position “… would be to ignore the long-standing principle that only final judgments or orders are appealable unless the particular order falls within one of the eight specified exceptions enumerated by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 307 … Although there may be compelling public policy reasons for allowing an interlocutory appeal of orders denying motions that establish a complete affirmative defense such as federal preemption, we are powerless to grant such interlocutory review.”

Get the whole opinion, Rogers v. Tyson Foods, No. 5-08-0205 (8/11/08), by clicking here.