LaPenna v. Ford Motor Company et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting the 31 Motion to dismiss negligence claims against Cooper Tire; granting the 20 Motion to transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia; denying as moot the 37 moti on to stay discovery pending resolution of the motion to transfer; transferring this case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia; directing the Clerk to take all necessary steps to effectuate the transfer of Plaintiff's civil action. Signed by Honorable Judge Mark E. Fuller on 7/7/2011. term: Final Pretrial Conference set for 08/30/2012; term Jury Trial set for 10/01/2012 (br, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
FRANK LaPENNA, son and Administrator )
of the Estates of Francis J. LaPenna and
Helen J. LaPenna, Deceased.
COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY, )
CASE NO. 2:10-cv-1018-MEF
(WO – PUBLISH)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The instant action revolves around an April 8, 2010 automobile accident on
Interstate 95 in Camden County, Georgia, which caused the deaths of Francis J. LaPenna
and Helen J. LaPenna (collectively, “the LaPennas”). On December 2, 2010, Plaintiff, as
Adminstrator of the LaPennas’ estates, filed the instant action against Defendants Ford
Motor Company, Inc. (“Ford Motor”) and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (“Cooper
Tire”), alleging product-liability, negligence, wantonness, and wrongful death claims.
(Doc. # 1).1 On February 11, 2011, Ford Motor was dismissed from this action upon
motion from Plaintiff and with no objection from Ford Motor pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 41. (Doc. # 18). This cause is currently before the Court on three
motions. First, on February 18, 2011, Cooper Tire filed a motion to transfer venue of this
The product-liability claims relate to the 2005 Ford Explorer driven by the LaPennas and
the Cooper MESA tires on the vehicle. (Doc. # 1, at 6). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on
December 20, 2010 in order to provide the correct Vehicle Identification Number for the Ford
Explorer. (Doc. # 5).
action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. (Doc. #
20). Second, on March 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the negligence claims
against Cooper Tire. (Doc. # 31). Finally, on June 13, 2011, Cooper Tired filed a Motion
to Stay Discovery, (Doc. # 37), pending resolution of the motion to transfer.
After careful consideration of the arguments of counsel, the relevant case law, and
the record as a whole, the Court finds that the motion to dismiss the negligence claims,
(Doc. # 31), is due to be GRANTED, that the motion to transfer venue, (Doc. # 20), is
due to be GRANTED, and that the motion to stay discovery, (Doc. # 37), is due to be
DENIED as MOOT.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
The Court exercises subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332, based upon the parties’ diversity of citizenship 2 and an amount in controversy
exceeding $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs. The parties do not contest personal
jurisdiction. Venue is appropriate in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(a) and (c).
RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
As previously stated, this action arises from an automobile accident that occurred
on April 8, 2010 in Camden County, Georgia, which is located within the Southern
District of Georgia. Plaintiff alleges that a defective tire manufactured by Cooper Tire
For purposes of § 1332(a), the LaPennas’ estates are citizens of Florida. Defendant Cooper
Tire is a citizen of Delaware, its state of incorporation, and Ohio, the state where its principal place
of business is located.
caused the LaPennas Ford Explorer to lose control and roll over, killing the LaPennas.3
The accident was a non-collision accident involving no other vehicles. (Doc. # 20 Ex. A).
Thus, the only persons involved in the accident itself were the LaPennas, who were
Florida residents at the time of their deaths. The LaPennas’ vehicle was licensed and
registered in Florida. (Id.). Camden County Fire Rescue personnel responded to the
accident while the Georgia State Patrol investigated it. Kelly’s Towing and Recovery,
which is located in Camden County, Georgia, towed the vehicle from the accident scene.
At some point, the subject tire was moved to Montgomery, Alabama and the Ford
Explorer was moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Cooper Tire contends that Plaintiff’s
counsel “decided to move [the] critical physical evidence” to Alabama.
Three known persons witnessed the accident: (1) William Robinson of Martinez,
Georgia, which is located within the Southern District of Georgia; (2) Horace Glenn of
Lutz, Florida; and (3) Tsopie Trottie of Jacksonville, Florida. (Doc. # 20 Ex. 1). Cooper
Tire has identified fifteen additional fact witnesses, “who all appear to be resident citizens
of Georgia, [that] have relevant information about the accident based on their presence at
the accident scene or their involvement thereafter.” (Doc. # 21, at 2). One such
individual is Richard Sikes, of the Georgia State Patrol, who filled out an accident report
for the incident. (Doc. # 20 Ex. A). Five are members of the Camden County Sheriff
Department, while six are members of the Camden County Fire Rescue. Cooper Tire also
The tire itself was manufactured in Texarkana, Arkansas.
points to the Camden County Coroner and Mark Kelly, an adult resident of Georgia, who
towed the LaPennas’ vehicle from the accident scene. Finally, Cooper Tire identifies
William Gerald Robinson, another adult resident of Georgia, who allegedly witnessed the
accident. (Doc. # 21, at 2–3).
Plaintiff is the administrator of the LaPennas’ estates and is a resident of North
Carolina. He filed the instant action on December 2, 2010, alleging products liability,
negligence, and wantonness claims against Ford Motor and Cooper Tire. Ford Motor was
dismissed from this action on February 11, 2011. The remaining defendant, Cooper Tire,
is a Delaware Corporation with its principal place of business located in Ohio. Currently
pending before this Court are Cooper Tire’s motion to transfer venue, (Doc. # 20),
Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss the negligence claims against Cooper Tire. (Doc. # 31), and
Cooper Tire’s motion to stay discovery pending resolution of the motion to transfer.
(Doc. # 37).
The Motion to Dismiss the Negligence Claims (Doc. # 31)
Plaintiff has filed a motion to dismiss the negligence claims. Cooper Tire does not
object to dismissal of these claims and contends that its motion to transfer venue “should
be granted whether or not Plaintiff pursues negligence claims.” (Doc. # 36, at 1). Thus,
Plaintiff’s motion to dismiss the negligence claims, (Doc. # 31), is due to be GRANTED.
The Motion to Transfer Venue (Doc. # 20)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a district court may, “[f]or the convenience of
parties and witnesses, and in the interest of justice, . . . transfer any civil action to any
other district or division where it might have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Whether a motion to transfer venue should be granted rests “within the sound discretion
of the court.” Hutchens v. Bill Heard Chevrolet Co., 928 F. Supp. 1089, 1090 (M.D. Ala.
1996) (DeMent, J.); accord Ross v. Buckeye Cellulose Corp., 980 F.2d 648, 654 (11th
Cir. 1993). When making this determination, courts follow a two-step process: “the court
must first determine whether the action could originally have been brought in the
proposed transferee court . . . [and] [s]econd, ‘the court must decide whether the balance
of convenience favors transfer.’” Folkes v. Haley, 64 F. Supp. 2d 1152, 1155 (M.D. Ala.
1999) (DeMent, J.) (quoting Johnston v. Foster-Wheeler Constructors, Inc., 158 F.R.D.
496, 504 (M.D. Ala. 1994) (Albritton, J.)). When faced with a motion to transfer, a court
“must engage in ‘an individualized case-by-case consideration of convenience and
fairness.” Folkes, 64 F. Supp. 2d 1154 (quoting Hutchens, 928 F. Supp. at 1090); accord
Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988).
Whether the Action Could Have Been Brought in the Transferee
Where, as here, jurisdiction is founded solely upon diversity of citizenship, the suit
may be brought in the following venues:
(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in
the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events
or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the
property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in
which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action
is commenced, if there is no other district in which the action may otherwise
28 U.S.C. § 1391(a). Cooper Tire contends that this action could have been brought in
the Southern District of Georgia pursuant to § 1391(a)(2) because a substantial part of the
events or omissions giving rise to this case—i.e. the accident—occurred there. (Doc. #
21, at 5). Plaintiff admits that both the Middle District of Alabama and the Southern
District of Georgia are proper venues under § 1391. (Doc. # 24, at 4). This Court agrees
and finds that this action could have originally been brought in the Southern District of
Georgia. See Hines v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., No. 1:10CV283-B-D, 2011 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 42640, at * (N.D. Miss. Apr. 18, 2011) (holding that, when considering a motion
to transfer a products liability action stemming from an automobile accident that occurred
in the Middle District of Louisiana, “venue is proper in the Middle District of Louisiana
pursuant to [§] 1391(a)(2) because ‘it is the judicial district in which a substantial part of
the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred’”); accord Gonzalez v. Pirelli
Tire, LLC, No. 07-80453-CIV-MARRA/JOHNSON, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13492, at *5
(S.D. Fla. Feb. 21, 2008) (holding that a products liability action arising out of a fatal
automobile accident that occurred in the Middle District of Florida should be transferred
to that district because, in part, “the incident underlying the action occurred” there).
Whether the Balance of Convenience Favors Transfer
Section 1404 “provides for transfer to a more convenient forum, but not to one
which is likely to prove equally convenient or inconvenient.” Folkes, 64 F. Supp. 2d at
1154 (emphasis added) (citing Johnston, 158 F.R.D. at 503). Furthermore, the defendant
bears the burden of establishing that the transferee forum is more convenient. See, e.g.,
In re Ricoh Corp., 870 F.2d 570, 572 (11th Cir. 1989). In determining whether the
balance of convenience favors transfer, courts generally consider relevant private and
public factors. These factors include the following: (1) plaintiff’s initial choice of forum;
(2) the convenience of the parties; (3) the relative ease of access to sources of proof; (4)
the availability of compulsory process for witnesses; (5) the location of relevant
documents; (6) the financial ability to bear the cost of the change; (7) trial efficiency; and
(8) the public interest. See Republic of Pan. v. BCCI Holdings (Luxembourg) S.A., 119
F.3d 935, 952–53 (11th Cir. 1997); Folkes, 64 F. Supp. 2d at 1155; Tampa Bay Storm,
Inc. v. Arena Football League, Inc., 932 F. Supp. 2d 281, 282 (M.D. Fla. 1996).
Plaintiff’s Choice of Forum
Traditionally, a plaintiff’s choice of forum is afforded deference. (Doc. # 24, at 3)
(citing Hale v. Cub Cadet, LLC, No. 3:10-cv-697-MEF, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118584,
at *11 (M.D. Ala. Nov. 8, 2010) (Fuller, C.J.)). However, Plaintiff’s choice of forum is
entitled to less deference here for two reasons. First, Plaintiff is a resident of North
Carolina and, thus, his chosen venue—the Middle District of Alabama—is not his home
forum. See, e.g., Sinochem Int’l Co. v. Malaysia Int’l Shipping Corp., 549 U.S. 422, 430
(2007) (noting that where the plaintiff’s choice of venue is not his “home forum, . . . the
presumption in plaintiff’s favor applies with less force, for the assumption that the chosen
forum is appropriate is in such cases less reasonable”); accord Dendy v. Decker Truck
Line, Inc., No. 2:10cv459-MHT, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88453, at *9 (M.D. Ala. Aug.
26, 2010) (Thompson, J.). Second, none of the operative facts underlying the cause of
action occurred within the Middle District of Alabama. The operative facts underlying a
products-liability action occurred “where the business decisions made by the Defendant
relative to the products liability theories of the case occurred.” Holmes v. Freightliner,
L.L.C., 237 F. Supp. 2d 690, 693 (M.D. Ala. 2002) (Albritton, J.). Here, Cooper Tire is
headquartered in Ohio and the tire was manufactured in Arkansas. Thus, it is likely that
the business decisions relating to the design of the tire were made in either Ohio or
Accordingly, because Plaintiff’s choice of forum is neither his home forum nor the
place where the operative facts underlying the cause of action occurred, it is of minimal
value in considering whether to transfer this action. See, e.g., Gould v. Nat’l Life Ins. Co.,
990 F. Supp. 1354, 1359 (M.D. Ala. 1998) (Albritton, J.) (holding that “when the
operative facts underlying the cause of action did not occur within the forum chosen by
the [p]laintiff, the choice of forum is entitled to less consideration”); accord Johnston,
158 F.R.D. at 505 (“Where none of the conduct complained of took place in the forum
selected by Plaintiff, the Plaintiff’s choice of forum is of minimal value in determining
whether to transfer an action.”) (citations omitted). Indeed, where, as here, the plaintiff’s
chosen forum is not his home forum and is not connected with the subject matter of the
lawsuit, it is “generally less difficult for the defendant, seeking a change of venue, to
meet the burden of showing sufficient inconvenience to tip the balance of convenience
strongly in the defendant’s favor.” Insuracorp, Inc. v. Am. Fid. Assurance Co., 914 F.
Supp. 504, 506 (M.D. Ala. 1996) (DeMent, J.) (citations omitted).
The Convenience of the Parties
As for the convenience of the parties, the Court notes that neither party is a citizen
of Alabama or Georgia. However, when considering the convenience of the parties vis-àvis their counsel of record, Plaintiff contends that the location of counsel renders the
Middle District of Alabama more convenient than the Southern District of Georgia.
(Doc. # 24, at 8) (citing First Fin. Bank v. CS Assets, LLC, No. 08-0731-WS-M, 2009
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37885, at *20 (S.D. Ala. May 4, 2009) (“Furthermore, the only
attorneys to have appeared for either [of the parties] in this action are based in the
Southern District, not the Northern District.”)). The consideration of the location of
counsel for the parties is a “subset of the analysis of the convenience to the parties.”
Walters v. McMahen, No. 1:10-cv-257-MEF, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28506, at *16 (M.D.
Ala. Mar. 18, 2011) (Fuller, C.J.). Here, Plaintiff’s counsel of record is located within the
Middle District of Alabama, and Cooper Tire’s counsel of record are located in the
Northern District of Alabama. Thus, this Court agrees that the convenience of the parties
vis-à-vis their counsel weighs somewhat against transfer of this action to the Southern
District of Georgia.
The Convenience of the Witnesses
However, “the most important factor in passing on a motion to transfer venue
under § 1404(a) is the convenience of the witnesses.” Insuracorp, 914 F. Supp. at 506
(emphasis added) (citations omitted). Indeed, when considering this factor, a district
court is to give more weight to the convenience of non-party witnesses than the
convenience of parties or party-witnesses. See ASD Specialty Healthcare, Inc. v. Letzer,
D.O., PLC, No. 2:10-cv-388-WKW, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74954, at *11 (M.D. Ala.
July 26, 2010) (Watkins, J.). Here, it does not appear that any party witnesses are located
within either the Middle District of Alabama or the Southern District of Georgia.
However, Defendant has pointed to a large number of non-party witnesses located in the
Southern District of Georgia who have relevant information about the automobile
accident at issue based upon their presence at the accident scene or their involvement
thereafter.4 Plaintiff, on the other hand, has not pointed to any witness, located in the
Plaintiff cites to Holmes, another products-liability action stemming from a fatal
automobile accident, for the proposition that these witnesses will only testify as to the acts
surrounding the accident and are not key witnesses in the action. See Holmes, 237 F. Supp. 2d at 695
(“[T]he actual facts of the accident are apparently relevant only to the extent that they undermine
Plaintiff’s products[-]liability claims. Their testimony does not appear to be so central to the case
that it could not fairly be presented through depositions.”) (internal citations omitted). However,
Holmes involved a case where non-party witnesses were located in both the plaintiff’s chosen forum
and the defendant’s desired forum. Id.
Middle District of Alabama. Thus, the convenience of the witnesses—particularly, the
non-party witnesses—weighs strongly in favor of transfer of venue in this case. See
Gould v. Nat’l Life Ins. Co., 990 F. Supp. 1354, 1359 (M.D. Ala. 1998) (Albritton, J.)
(noting that the location of non-party witnesses outside of Plaintiff’s chosen venue was
“especially important given that the Middle District of Alabama would be unable to
compel attendance of these persons”).5
As with the non-party witnesses at issue here, the witnesses in Holmes did not go to the
design of the allegedly defective product. Rather, the witnesses located in the plaintiff’s home state
included the decedent’s employer, who maintained the lease, maintenance and repair records for the
truck at issue, other employees, and the physician who administered the driver’s physical. The
witnesses located in the defendant’s desired forum included “eyewitnesses to the accident, law
enforcement officers responding to the accident, a tow truck operator, emergency medical personnel,
and medical examiners.” Id. The Holmes court did not find that these were not key witnesses.
Instead, the court found that “there will be non-party witnesses who will be inconvenienced if the
case is tried in either forum.” Id. Thus, this factor did not weigh substantially in favor of a transfer.
Here, however, Plaintiff has not pointed to a single factual witness, whether party or nonparty, located within the Middle District of Alabama. This is not a situation where non-party
witnesses will be inconvenienced in either forum. Here, it would clearly be more convenient for this
action to be tried in the Southern District of Georgia, where the majority of non-party witnesses are
available to compulsory process, as opposed to the Middle District of Alabama, where no witnesses
are subject to compulsory process. See J.C. Renfroe & Sons, Inc. v. Renfroe Japan Co., Ltd., 515
F. Supp. 2d 1258, 1271 (M.D. Fla. 2007) (“[T]o fix the place of trial at a point where litigants cannot
compel personal attendance and may be forced to try their cases on deposition, is to create a
condition not satisfactory to court, jury or most litigants.”) (citations omitted).
Plaintiff contends that this case will be mostly tried by experts and that it would be more
convenient to try the case in the Middle District of Alabama because the counsels’ typical tire
experts reside in North Carolina and Huntsville, Alabama. However, because these expert witnesses
are under the control of the parties, they are not as crucial as those whose attendance the parties are
unable to procure. See Gonzalez, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13492 at *10 (“[T]he fact that Plaintiff is
better able to procure the attendance of her witnesses in the [defendants’ desired forum], and
Defendants are virtually unable to procure the attendance of theirs in this district, is a critical
The Location of Relevant Documents
With respect to the location of relevant documents, Cooper Tire points out that its
design facilities and engineers are in Ohio. Thus, as to the information held in these
design facilities and by these engineers, it would be equally as convenient for this action
to proceed in Georgia or Alabama. Plaintiff contends that Cooper Tire has been sued for
similar wrecks related to various models of tires that suffered tread separation and that
many such cases have been consolidated into a California state multi-district litigation
called a Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (“the JCCP”).
Plaintiff contends that Cooper Tire’s counsel currently possess copies of these
documents and depositions in their offices located in Birmingham, Alabama.6 While
these documents are located closer to Plaintiff’s chosen forum than Cooper Tire’s desired
forum, this Court finds that they can be produced just as easily in either forum. See
Steifel Labs., Inc. v. Galderama Labs., Inc., 588 F. Supp. 2d 1336, 1340 (S.D. Fla. 2008)
(noting that documents held by one party “would have to be produced in the course of
discovery regardless of venue” and that, “in the current world of expedited transfer of
information, assembly and production of any necessary information can be produced just
as easily in” either forum). Furthermore, as Cooper Tire points out, the relevant
documents which are not possessed by either party—e.g. the investigation files of the
Georgia State Patrol—are located in the Southern District of Georgia, where the accident
The Court notes that these other actions relate to various types of tires, and it is unclear
whether all or even a majority of these documents would be relevant to the tire at issue in this case.
occurred, and would not be produced by either party in the normal course of discovery.
Thus, this factor weighs in favor of transfer.
The Relative Ease of Access to Sources of Proof
As for the relative ease of access to sources of proof, it appears that Plaintiff’s
counsel has moved the subject automobile and tire to Alabama—the tire is currently
located in Montgomery, Alabama and the automobile is stored in Birmingham, Alabama.
Cooper Tire objects that Plaintiff’s unilateral action in moving the physical evidence to
Montgomery, Alabama, should not be given weight in deciding whether to transfer.
While this Court agrees that the location of the tire and automobile in Alabama weighs
against transfer to Georgia, its value in determining whether to transfer is slight.
However the tire and automobile came to be in Alabama, it can just as easily be moved
back to Georgia, while the non-party witnesses and documents discussed above cannot.
See Gonzalez, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13492 at *9 (holding that, in a products-liability
action arising from a fatal automobile accident, transfer to the forum where the accident
occurred was proper, in part, because “the car and tires can be easily transported and can
be made available” in the defendants’ desired forum).
The Financial Ability to Bear the Cost of the Change
With respect to the financial ability to bear the cost of the change, the Court notes
that this factor weighs against transfer given that Plaintiff is an individual and Cooper
Tire is a corporation better able to handle the costs of inconvenience. However, the
financial ability to bear cost of change, while important, cannot defeat transfer where the
bulk of the factors favor transfer. See Merswin v. Williams Cos., No. 1:08-CV-2177TWT-LTW, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130658, at *23 (N.D. Ga. Jan. 5, 2009).
This Court finds that the factor of trial efficiency is neutral, favoring neither
The Public Interest
When considering the public interest, courts look to the following:
The administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion; the local interest
in having localized controversies decided at home; the interest in having the
trial of a diversity case in a forum that is at home with the law that must
govern the action; the avoidance of unnecessary problems in conflict of laws,
or in the application of foreign law; and the unfairness of burdening citizens
in an unrelated forum with jury duty.
Tazoe v. Airbus S.A.S., 631 F.3d 1321, 1333 (11th Cir. 2011) (internal quotations and
quotations omitted); accord La Seguridad v. Transytur Line, 707 F.2d 1304, 1307 (11th
Cir. 1983) (citations omitted). These public interest factors weigh heavily in favor of
transfer of this action to the Southern District of Georgia. The parties agree that Georgia
law will apply in this case. Thus, it is undisputed that the Southern District of Georgia
would be more familiar with applying Georgia law in a diversity case. See Hutchens, 928
F. Supp. at 1091 (“[T]here is an appropriateness . . . in having the trial of a diversity case
in a forum that is at home with the state law that must govern the case . . . . The court is
persuaded that as a practical matter, a district court located in Georgia and routinely
applying Georgia law can more appropriately apply such law than a district court located
in another state.”). At the same time, since this Court not infrequently applies Georgia
law and because the applicable Georgia law is not particularly complex, this factor is of
less importance. See Holmes, 237 F. Supp. 2d at 696.
What is critically important in this case, however, is the fact that Alabama has no
relation whatsoever to the subject matter underlying the lawsuit. Plaintiff admits that the
decisions regarding the design and manufacturing of the tire were likely made in Ohio or
Arkansas. The tire itself was manufactured in Arkansas. The LaPennas’ automobile was
not registered in Alabama, nor is there any evidence before this Court that the LaPennas
ever drove, serviced, or maintained the automobile in Alabama. The accident causing the
LaPennas’ deaths did not occur in Alabama. Simply put, Alabama and its citizens have
no interest in this litigation. Plaintiff contends that “Alabama citizens have just as much
interest in making sure that safe products, particularly tires, are being sold and placed on
their vehicles as do residents of any other state.” (Doc. # 24, at 22). This is simply not
enough to burden Alabama’s courts and jurors with trying a case involving an accident in
Georgia applying Georgia law to a product designed, manufactured, and sold elsewhere,
particularly because every single state in the United States would have such a generalized
and tenuous interest. Georgia, on the other hand, is the site where the accident at issue in
this case actually occurred and, thus, has a much stronger, and much more concrete,
interest in this case.
Having considered all the relevant factors and engaged in an individualized
consideration of convenience and fairness in this case, the Court finds that Cooper Tire
has met its burden of establishing that the Southern District of Georgia is a more
convenient venue for this litigation than the Middle District of Alabama. Thus, Cooper
Tire’s motion to transfer venue of this action to the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Georgia, (Doc. # 20), is due to be GRANTED.
The Motion to Stay Discovery (Doc. # 37)
As this Court has determined that Cooper Tire’s motion to transfer venue should
be granted, the motion to stay discovery pending resolution of the motion to transfer,
(Doc. # 37), is due to be DENIED as MOOT.
For the foregoing reasons, it is hereby ORDERED that
The motion to dismiss the negligence claims against Cooper Tire,
(Doc. # 31), is GRANTED.
The motion to transfer venue of this action to the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Georgia, (Doc. # 20), is GRANTED.
The motion to stay discovery pending resolution of the motion to transfer,
(Doc. # 37), is DENIED as MOOT.
This case is transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Georgia pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
The Clerk is DIRECTED to take all necessary steps to effectuate the
transfer of Plaintiff’s civil action.
Any outstanding motions remain pending for resolution by the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.
DONE this the 7 day of July, 2011.
/s/ Mark E. Fuller
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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