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HOUCK v. TWA

December 11, 1996

MARY ELLEN HOUCK, as Personal Representative of the Estate of SUSAN HILL, deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC., a corporation, THE BOEING COMPANY, a corporation, and HYDROAIRE, INC., a division of CRANE CO., a corporation, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 This matter is before the Court on the Court's motion to transfer this matter to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Hauppauge Division, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). *fn1"

 I. BACKGROUND

 This case arose as a result of the explosion and crash of Trans World Airlines, Inc. ("TWA"), flight number 800 on July 17, 1996. The accident occurred over the ocean near East Moriches, Long Island, New York. Susan Hill was a passenger on that flight. There were no survivors.

 Houck is a citizen of the state of Oregon. Hill, at the time of her death, was also a citizen of the state of Oregon. TWA is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri; Boeing is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Washington; Hydroaire is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Connecticut. The only "connection" Defendants have with the state of Illinois is that each maintains a registered agent in Cook County and each "does business" here.

 II. DISCUSSION2

 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a):

 
For 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.

 A transfer under § 1404(a) is appropriate if: (1) venue is proper in both the transferor and transferee court; (2) transfer is for the convenience of the parties and witnesses; and (3) transfer is in the interests of justice. Vandeveld v. Christoph, 877 F. Supp. 1160, 1167 (N.D. Ill. 1995). "The weighing of factors for and against transfer necessarily involves a large degree of subtlety and latitude, and therefore, is committed to the sound discretion of the trial judge." Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219 (7th Cir. 1986).

 A. Venue

 Here, venue is proper in both the Northern District of Illinois (the transferee court) and the Eastern District of New York (the transferee court), see 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(1) and (2), (c). *fn3"

 B. Convenience of Parties and Witnesses

 When evaluating the convenience of the parties and witnesses, the court considers: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum; (2) the site of material events; (3) the availability of evidence in each forum; and (4) the convenience to the parties of litigating in the respective forums. ...


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