Lacey v. Cessna Aircraft Co., Civ. A. No. 87-1506.

Decision Date04 November 1987
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 87-1506.
Citation674 F. Supp. 10
PartiesGraeme MacArthur LACEY, Plaintiff, v. CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY, a coporation; Hanlon & Wilson Company, a corporation; Teledyne, Inc., a corporation; and John Does 1-10, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Michael Louik, Pittsburgh, Pa., Herbert Adelman, Washington, D.C., for plaintiff.

Donald W. Bebenek, Pittsburgh, Pa., for Cessna Aircraft Co.

Eric P. Reif, Pittsburgh, Pa., for Teledyne.

Robert L. Potter, Pittsburgh, Pa., for Hanlon & Wilson Co.

OPINION

GERALD J. WEBER, District Judge.

Plaintiff is an Australian citizen who was injured in a plane crash in Canada. He has filed a product liability suit against a Kansas corporation, a Delaware corporation, and a Pennsylvania corporation. Naturally defendants have raised the question of whether this is an appropriate forum. It isn't.

Plaintiff was employed by an Australian concern but in 1985 was sent to British Columbia, Canada, on business. On July 20, 1985, plaintiff boarded a Canadian passenger plane, registered in Canada, owned by a Canadian company, and flown by a Canadian pilot for an intra-Canada flight. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Inverness Airport, British Columbia, Canada.

Plaintiff suffered serious injuries in the crash including severe burns. He was hospitalized for a number of months in a Canadian Hospital, and after his return home he has required extensive further medical attention in Australia.

Defendants admit that they are all subject to personal jurisdiction in Pennsylvania on the basis of the business they conduct in the state. However, defendants challenge plaintiff's choice of forum on the basis of forum non conveniens.1

This issue is resolved quite simply by reference to Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235, 102 S.Ct. 252, 70 L.Ed.2d 419 (1981), a case which originated in this Circuit. The plaintiff-executor represented the estates of five Scottish citizens who were killed in a plane crash in Scotland. Although subject to personal jurisdiction in the original forum, the defendants, one of them a Pennsylvania corporation, moved to dismiss on forum non conveniens.

The Court examined a number of factors, including the location of witnesses and physical evidence, the public interest of the forum and its connection if any with the subject of the litigation, and the extent of the burden the case would place on the forum. Two factors given little weight were the foreign plaintiff's choice of forum, and whether product liability law in the alternative forum was less advantageous than that of the original forum. The case at bar closely mirrors Reyno, and all the factors suggest a more appropriate forum is British Columbia, Canada. None of the potential witnesses, on either liability or damages, are located here. All are clearly beyond the reach of compulsory process. Even those persons plaintiff identifies as witnesses on the issue...

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6 cases
  • Lacey v. Cessna Aircraft Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • May 28, 1991
    ...court granted defendants' motions, concluding that the forum non conveniens issue is "resolved quite simply by reference to Piper." 674 F.Supp. at 11. The court condensed its entire analysis into the following three The case at bar closely mirrors Reyno, and all the factors suggest a more a......
  • Lacey v. Cessna Aircraft Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • November 21, 1988
    ...quite simply by reference to Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235 [102 S.Ct. 252, 70 L.Ed.2d 419] (1981)." Lacey v. Cessna Aircraft Co., 674 F.Supp. 10, 11 (W.D.Pa.1987). The district court's entire forum non conveniens discussion The case at bar closely mirrors Reyno, and all the fact......
  • Lacey v. Cessna Aircraft Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • April 27, 1990
    ...was assigned to the Honorable Gerald J. Weber and in his no-nonsense, "cut to the chase" style, Judge Weber granted the motion. 674 F.Supp. 10 (W.D.Pa.1987). The Court of Appeals subsequently vacated on several grounds and remanded for further consideration. 862 F.2d 38 (3rd Cir.1988). Afte......
  • Lacey v. Cessna Aircraft Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • February 28, 1992
    ...assigned to the late Honorable Gerald Weber who granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, based on forum non conveniens grounds. 674 F.Supp. 10 (W.D.Pa.1987). The plaintiff appealed, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated and remanded the case for further cons......
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