Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., No. CIV.A. 303CV733JCH.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
Writing for the CourtHall
Citation294 F.Supp.2d 218
PartiesTHE CHARTER OAK FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, v. BROAN-NUTONE, L.L.C. Defendant.
Docket NumberNo. CIV.A. 303CV733JCH.
Decision Date04 December 2003
294 F.Supp.2d 218
THE CHARTER OAK FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
v.
BROAN-NUTONE, L.L.C. Defendant.
No. CIV.A. 303CV733JCH.
United States District Court, D. Connecticut.
December 4, 2003.

Brian P. Henry, Tedford & Henry, Hartford, CT, for Plaintiff.

Joseph Bree Burns, Putnam Hutchinson Perry, Rome McGuigan Sabanosh, Hartford, CT, for Defendant.

RULING ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER [DKT. NO. 4]

HALL, District Judge.


The plaintiff, Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company ("Charter Oak") brings this products liability action against Broan-Nutone, L.L.C. ("Broan"). Broan now moves this court to transfer the case to the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division.

Page 219

For the reasons set forth below, Broan's motion to transfer is GRANTED.

I. DISCUSSION

The suit concerns a building fire that occurred in Memphis, Tennessee. Charter Oak, which insured the building owner, alleges that the fire was caused by a bathroom ceiling fan manufactured by Broan. Charter Oak first filed this case in Wisconsin, the defendant's principal place of business. The Wisconsin federal court transferred it to Tennessee. In Tennessee, Broan argued for dismissal based on a Tennessee 10 year statute of limitations; before the court ruled on the motion, Charter Oak agreed to dismiss the Tennessee action without prejudice. It then filed this Connecticut action.

The only connection that this case has to Connecticut is that the plaintiff's business resides here. The specific fan at issue in this case was purchased by the plaintiff's insured in Tennessee, and installed at the Memphis Visitors Center and Convention Bureau ("the premises"), 45-47 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, where plaintiffs alleged in the Complaint that it remained in place and use until February 1, 2002, when a fire caused substantial damage to the premises. The plaintiffs allege that the fire originated at or near the ceiling area of certain bathroom facilities on the property, and was a result of a defect in the fan, which caused the ignition of nearby combustibles.

A. Standard

The defendant requests the court to transfer this case to the Western District of Tennessee. Section 1404(a) authorizes transfer to another district where venue is also proper. That statute provides that transfer is permissible "[fo]r the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

Motions for transfer of venue fall within "the broad discretion of the district court and are determined upon notions of convenience and fairness on a case-by-case basis." In re Cuyahoga Equipment Corp., 980 F.2d 110, 117 (2d Cir.1992). The purpose of Section 1404(a) "is to prevent the waste of `time, energy and money' and `to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense.'" Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616, 84 S.Ct. 805, 11 L.Ed.2d 945 (1964) (quoting Continental Grain Co. v. Barge FBL-585, 364 U.S. 19, 26-27, 80 S.Ct. 1470, 4 L.Ed.2d 1540 (1960)). The plaintiff's choice of forum, however, is generally entitled to substantial consideration. In re Warrick, 70 F.3d 736, 741 (2d. Cir. 1995). The burden is upon the defendant to make "a clear-cut showing . . . that convenience and justice for all parties demands that the litigation proceed elsewhere." United States Barite Corp. v. M.V. Haris, 534 F.Supp. 328, 331 (S.D.N.Y.1982).

B. Discussion

It is undisputed that this case could have been brought in the Western District of Tennessee and that transfer is therefore possible. Moreover, another federal court has already determined on a transfer motion that, as compared to Wisconsin, the Tennessee forum is an appropriate one for this case. Therefore, the court will consider whether that district is the proper venue for litigation of this case as compared to Connecticut.

The statutory standards of § 1404(a) require the weighing of several factors. The criteria used to determine whether transfer is appropriate include: 1) the weight accorded the plaintiff's choice of forum; 2) the locus of operative facts;

Page 220

3) the convenience of the witnesses; 4) the availability of process to compel the attendance of unwilling witnesses; 5) the convenience of the parties; 6) the location of relevant documents and the relative ease of access to sources of proof; 7) the relative means of the parties; 8) the district court's familiarity with governing law; and 9) trial efficiency and the interest of justice. U.S. Surgical Corp. v. Imagyn Medical Technologies, Inc., 25 F.Supp.2d 40, 46 (D.Conn.1998).

1. Weight Accorded Plaintiff's Choice of Forum

In considering a motion to transfer, a district court ordinarily affords plaintiff's choice of forum substantial weight. TM Claims Service v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, 143 F.Supp.2d 402, 404 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). "However `a plaintiff's choice of forum is given less weight where the case's operative facts have little connection with the chosen forum.'" Id. (quoting 800-Flowers, Inc. v. Intercontinental Florist, Inc., 860 F.Supp. 128, 134 (S.D.N.Y.1994)). Although the plaintiff has chosen to litigate this action in Connecticut, the only connection this cause of action has with the state is that the plaintiff resides here. Therefore, the plaintiff's choice of forum is not controlling. Mitsui Marine and Fire Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Nankai Travel Int'l Co., Inc., 245 F.Supp.2d 523, 525-26 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).

2. Locus of Operative Facts

The location of operative facts underlying a claim is a key factor in determining a motion to transfer venue. See TM Claims Service, 143 F.Supp.2d at 404. "The core determination under Section 1404(a) is the center of gravity of the litigation." Id. at 403 (internal quotation omitted). "To determine the `locus of operative facts,' a court must look to the `site of the events from which the claim arises.'" Distefano v. Carozzi North...

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31 practice notes
  • A Slice of Pie Productions v. Wayans Bros., No. 3:04 CV 1034 JBA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • September 21, 2005
    ...facts underlying a claim is a key factor in determining a motion to transfer venue." Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 220 (D.Conn. 2003). "To determine the locus of operative facts, a court must look to the site of the events from which the claim arises.......
  • Mak Marketing, Inc. v. Kalapos, Civil Action No. 08-cv-1008 (JCH).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • May 8, 2009
    ...technology and electronic storage deprive this issue of practical or legal weight." Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 221 (D.Conn.2003). Because neither party has provided any basis for the court to find that accessing evidence would be problematic or pro......
  • Wilson v. Directbuy, Inc., Civil Action Nos. 3:09–CV–590 (JCH)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • October 27, 2011
    ...in sum indicate that the administration of justice will be advanced by a transfer.” ' Charter Oak Fire Ins. v. Broan–Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 222 (D.Conn.2003) (citing Schneider v. Sears, 265 F.Supp. 257, 263 (S.D.N.Y.1967)). The parties' filings address several points not covered......
  • Allen ex rel. Allen v. Devine, No. 09-cv-668 (ADS)(MLO).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • November 19, 2009
    ...contemporary technology has significantly reduced the importance of this factor. See Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 221-22 (D.Conn.2003) (citing Ford Motor Co. v. Ryan, 182 F.2d 329, 331 (2d Cir.1950)). In addition, it is unclear what discovery benefit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
31 cases
  • A Slice of Pie Productions v. Wayans Bros., No. 3:04 CV 1034 JBA.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • September 21, 2005
    ...facts underlying a claim is a key factor in determining a motion to transfer venue." Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 220 (D.Conn. 2003). "To determine the locus of operative facts, a court must look to the site of the events from which the claim arises.......
  • Mak Marketing, Inc. v. Kalapos, Civil Action No. 08-cv-1008 (JCH).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • May 8, 2009
    ...technology and electronic storage deprive this issue of practical or legal weight." Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 221 (D.Conn.2003). Because neither party has provided any basis for the court to find that accessing evidence would be problematic or pro......
  • Wilson v. Directbuy, Inc., Civil Action Nos. 3:09–CV–590 (JCH)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • October 27, 2011
    ...in sum indicate that the administration of justice will be advanced by a transfer.” ' Charter Oak Fire Ins. v. Broan–Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 222 (D.Conn.2003) (citing Schneider v. Sears, 265 F.Supp. 257, 263 (S.D.N.Y.1967)). The parties' filings address several points not covered......
  • Allen ex rel. Allen v. Devine, No. 09-cv-668 (ADS)(MLO).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • November 19, 2009
    ...contemporary technology has significantly reduced the importance of this factor. See Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. Broan-Nutone, L.L.C., 294 F.Supp.2d 218, 221-22 (D.Conn.2003) (citing Ford Motor Co. v. Ryan, 182 F.2d 329, 331 (2d Cir.1950)). In addition, it is unclear what discovery benefit......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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