Monday, November 9, 2009

Local Interests Favor Transfer of Dispute Between Swedish Plaintiff and Pennsylvania Defendant to Pennsylvania

In recommending a grant of a Pennsylvania defendant's motion to transfer venue from the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division, to the Western District of Pennsylvania, the magistrate judge found that the "interest in having localized controversies settled at home" favored transfer. "[T]he court places itself in the shoes of a juror and asks the question that every juror asks, which is 'why was I called away from work or my home to hear this case?' Beyond civic duty, which is present in every district, the answer in this case would be hard for a juror to take: to resolve a dispute between a Pennsylvania and a Swedish Company concerning a product that is not manufactured [in North Carolina] and was purportedly invented by people who live very far away. . . . The overriding localized interest would be in Pennsylvania, where jurors will likely be familiar with places like Latrobe [Pennsylvania] as that town appears to be the locus of defendant’s business activities and the place from which many of the witnesses in this action are likely to live."

Sandvik Intellectual Property AB v. Kennametal Inc., 1-09-cv-00163
(NCWD November 5, 2009, Memorandum and Recommendations) (Howell, M.J.)

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