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SEKO AIR FREIGHT INC. v. DIRECT TRANSIT
June 29, 1994
SEKO AIR FREIGHT INC., Plaintiff,
DIRECT TRANSIT, INC., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: W. THOMAS ROSEMOND, JR.
Plaintiff Seko Air Freight ("Seko") commenced this action on August 23, 1993. Seko alleges that defendant Direct Transit was negligent in transporting goods. Seko seeks reimbursement for the goods that were never delivered to their destination due to Direct Transit's alleged negligence. In its complaint, Seko alleges that this District is proper venue pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 11707. Defendant Direct Transit moves this Court to transfer venue pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 11707(d)(2)(A)(iii). Defendant Direct Transit's motion to transfer venue is denied.
Plaintiff Seko is an air freight company that is licensed to provide such service in Illinois and within the continental United States. Defendant Direct Transit is an Iowa Corporation that is licensed to do business as a freight carrier within the continental United States. Its principal place of business is in South Dakota, but it also has offices in Indiana.
On or about September 17, 1988, Seko contracted with a computer business located in California to deliver computer equipment to another computer company located in Texas. In order to facilitate this delivery, Seko contracted with a transportation broker to make arrangements for the delivery of the computer equipment. The broker hired defendant Direct Transit to pick up the equipment in California and deliver it to Texas via truck shipment. At no time did Direct Transit receive or ship any of the computer equipment through Illinois.
Upon delivery, it was discovered that some computer equipment was missing. Seko alleges that this loss was attributed to the negligent acts and/or omissions of Direct Transit's agents and employees. However, neither Seko nor Direct Transit knows where the loss occurred. Based on the geographic route of the shipment, the loss could have occurred in California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, or anywhere else in between these points. Seko has reimbursed the computer company in California for the loss, and now seeks reimbursement from Direct Transit.
Seko claims that the Northern District of Illinois is a place of proper venue under 49 U.S.C. § 11707(d)(1), which reads as follows:
(d)(1) A civil action under this section may be brought against a delivering carrier (other than a rail carrier) in a district court of the United States or in a State court. Trial, if the action is brought in a district court of the United States is in a judicial district, and if in a State court, is in a State, through which the defendant carrier operates a railroad or route.
Defendant Direct Transit challenges venue in Illinois as improper under 49 U.S.C. § 11707(d)(2)(A)(iii), which reads as follows:
(2)(A) A civil action under this section may only be brought -
(i) Against the originating rail carrier, in the judicial district in which the point of origin is located;
(ii) against the delivering rail carrier, in the judicial district in which the principal place of business of the person bringing the action is located if the delivering carrier operates a railroad or a route through such judicial district, or in the judicial district in which the point of destination is located; and
(iii) against the carrier alleged to have caused the loss or damage, in the judicial district in which such loss or ...
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