Darnell v. Eskew et al
ORDER denying 7 Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Transfer. Signed by Chief US District Judge James C. Dever III on 12/1/2011. (Sawyer, D.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
DAREN A. DARNELL,
RYAN PATRICK ESKEW, and
ELIZABETH LARKIN BUTLER,
On July 19, 2008, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Ryan Patrick Eskew was driving Elizabeth
Larkin Butler's car. Butler was a passenger in the car, and the car struck and injured Daren Darnell.
Darnell alleges that when the incident happened, Eskew was driving while impaired and that Butler
knew that fact. [D.E. 2], Att. 1 ("Compl.") ~~ 7,26. Darnell was transported to a local hospital and
treated for his injuries. PL's Resp. Defs.' Mot. Dismiss & Mem. in Supp. [D.E. 14] 2.
On July 18,2011, Darnell sued Eskew and Butler in the Superior Court of North Carolina,
New Hanover County, seeking damages for injuries arising from the incident. Darnell is a Florida
citizen. Eskew and Butler are citizens ofGeorgia. On September 2, 2011, Eskew and Butler removed
the action based on diversity jurisdiction [D.E. 2].
On September 9,2011, Eskew and Butler filed an answer and moved to dismiss the action for
improper venue [D.E. 7, 8]. Alternatively, Eskew and Butler seek to transfer the case to the Southern
District of Georgia where they reside [D.E. 8]. Darnell opposes the motion. Pl.'s Resp. Defs.' Mot.
Dismiss & Mem. in Supp.
When jurisdiction is based on diversity, an action may be brought in "a judicial district in
which a substantial part ofthe events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred ...." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391(a)(2). According to the complaint, the incident happened in this district. See CompI. ~~ 4-8.
Moreover, Darnell claims that the Wilmington Police Department investigated the incident and cited
Eskew for driving while impaired, and that Eskew pled guilty to that offense in New Hanover County.
PI.' s Resp. Defs.' Mot. Dismiss & Mem. in SUpp. 2. Furthermore, Darnell received treatment for his
injuries in this district. Id. Thus, a substantial part of the events giving rise to Darnell's claims
occurred in this district and venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (a)(2). Accordingly, the motion
to dismiss is denied.
As for the motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of Georgia, the court recognizes
its discretion to transfer venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Boyd v. Koch Foods, No. 5:tO
CV-349-D, 2011 WL2413844, at *2-3 (E.D.N.C. June to,2011)(unpublished). Darnell has chosen
to litigate in the Eastern District of North Carolina and the balance of other factors (such as
convenience ofparties and witnesses, and the interests ofjustice) do not warrant transferring this case
to the Southern District of Georgia. See id. Thus, the motion to transfer is denied.
In sum, defendants' motion to dismiss and motion to transfer [D.E. 7, 8] are DENIED.
SO ORDERED. This
day of December 2011.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?