Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

AMOCO OIL CO. v. MOBIL OIL CORP.

March 22, 2000

AMOCO OIL COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
V.
MOBIL OIL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Alesia, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is plaintiff Amoco Oil Company's response to the court's rule to show cause why this case should not be transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).*fn1 For the following reasons, the court transfers this case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Amoco Oil Company ("Amoco") brings this diversity action against the defendant Mobil Oil Corporation ("Mobil"). Amoco is a business incorporated under the laws of Maryland with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. Mobil is a business incorporated under the laws of New York with its principal place of business in Fairfax, Virginia.

This action allegedly arises out of a settlement agreement entered into on May 6, 1993 between Amoco and Mobil. Pursuant to this settlement agreement, Mobil released Amoco from any claims relating to environmental contamination in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, New York and agreed to indemnify Amoco for certain aspects of the contamination in the Greenpoint area. Amoco, however, remained responsible for removing any contamination from its own property excluding contamination which was not physically located under Amoco's property at the time of the settlement agreement. The purpose of this settlement agreement is "to fully resolve all existing disagreements over responsibility and allocate liability for environmental contamination (including, among other things, third party personal injury and property damage claims) between Amoco and Mobil in connection with . . . the Greenpoint Contamination." (Pl.'s Compl. Ex. 1 at 2.)

Subsequent to this settlement agreement, Amoco recovered over two million gallons of liquid phase contamination from the subsurface of its property.*fn2 Testing of the groundwater revealed that the contamination is migrating onto Amoco's property from Mobil's Greenpoint property. As a consequence of this migration, the New York State Department of Environmental Contamination ("NYSDEC") advised Amoco that it is considering an enforcement action against Amoco unless Amoco extends its remediation efforts. This extension would include the installation of pump and treat systems which would draw more pollution onto Amoco's property from Mobil's property.

Thus, Amoco advised Mobil that any remediation efforts sought by NYSDEC were subject to the indemnity provision in the settlement agreement. However, Mobil denies that it would have any obligation with respect to Amoco's remediation efforts.

Accordingly, on September 3, 1999, Amoco filed this action charging Mobil with violating the settlement agreement as to the property located in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, New York. The complaint consists of two counts. Count I is for a declaratory judgment and Count II alleges a breach of the settlement agreement.

II. DISCUSSION

Amoco requests this court to retain jurisdiction of this case. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a district court may transfer a civil action "[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses [and] in the interest of justice . . . to any other district or division where it might have been brought." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Transfer is appropriate under § 1404(a) where: (1) venue is proper in the transferor district; (2) venue and jurisdiction are proper in the transferee district; and (3) the transfer will serve the convenience of the parties and the witnesses and will promote the interest of justice. See id; Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219 & n. 3 (7th Cir. 1986). It is in the sound discretion of the trial judge to determine the weight accorded to each factor. See Coffey, 796 F.2d at 219.

A. Venue in the transferor district, the Northern District of Illinois

Venue is proper in this district because jurisdiction is predicated solely on diversity of citizenship and Mobil does not dispute that this court has personal jurisdiction over it. Title 28 of the United States Code § 1391(a) provides that:

A civil action wherein jurisdiction is founded only on diversity of citizenship may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

28 U.S.C. § 1391(a). For purposes of venue, "a defendant that is a corporation shall be deemed to reside in any judicial district in which it is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced." Id. § 1391(c). Mobil, the only defendant, does not dispute that this court has personal jurisdiction over it, thus, venue is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.