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March 19, 2004.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD GUZMAN, District Judge


Before the Court is Defendant Canadian Pacific Railway Co. d/b/a Soo Line Railroad Co.'s ("Soo Line") Motion to Transfer Venue to the Western District of Wisconsin. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is granted.


  Plaintiff Eugene Biesek, a resident of Bariboo, Wisconsin, was employed as an engineer by Defendant Soo Line. On December 20, 2000, Plaintiff was seriously injured while attempting to adjust a loose jumper cable on a certain locomotive owned by Defendant. The accident occurred in Columbia County, Wisconsin. Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to the Federal Employer's Liability Act ("FELA"), 45 U.S.C. § 51, alleging that his injuries were caused by Soo Line's negligent failure to properly inspect and properly install the jumper cable. Defendant Soo Line now brings this motion to transfer venue from the Northern District of Illinois to the Western District of Wisconsin.


  28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides that "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 Page 2 division where it might have been brought." In ruling on a motion to transfer, a court must consider both the private interests of the parties and the public interests of the courts. Technical Concepts L.P. v. Zurn Indus., Inc., No. 02 C 5150, 2002 WL 31433408, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Oct 31, 2002).

  The party moving for a transfer of venue must show that: (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. See Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. v. Rock-Tenn Co., No. 02 C 7491, 2003 WL 22012203, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 22, 2003). The measures of convenience and the interests of justice involve a substantial degree of subtlety and latitude and are therefore "committed to the sound discretion of the trial judge." Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219 (7th Cir. 1986). In this case, it is not disputed that venue is proper in both the transferor and transferee courts.

 A. Private Interests

  A court looks to several factors in balancing the private interests of the parties: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum; (2) the situs of the material events; (3) the ease and access of sources of proof; (4) the convenience of the parties; and (5) the convenience of the witnesses. Amoco. Oil Co. v. Mobil Oil Corp., 90 F. Supp.2d 958, 960 (N.D. Ill. 2000). In order to tip the scale convincingly towards transfer, Soo Line "has the burden of establishing, by reference to particular circumstances, that the transferee forum is clearly more convenient." Coffey, 796 F.2d at 219-20.

  1. Plaintiff's Choice of Forum — A plaintiff's choice of forum is customarily accorded deference, but the importance of Plaintiff's preference in this case is lessened by the fact that he did not bring the action in his home district. See Raddenbach v. Soo Line R.R. Co., No. 99 C 2588, 1999 WL 984393, at * 1 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 25, 1999) (discounting the importance of FELA plaintiff's choice of Chicago forum when plaintiff resided in Wisconsin and was injured in Wisconsin). Page 3

  2. Situs of Material Events — The parties dispute the location of the critical "situs of material events." Soo Line contends that Biesek's injury, which occurred in Wisconsin, is the critical material event in this case. Plaintiff, on the other hand, maintains that the litigation will focus on an alleged failure to inspect Soo Line's locomotive in either Soo Line's or CSX's railyards in Northern Illinois. Although the Plaintiff also argues that an abandoned settlement agreement in Chicago will be important to the litigation, the injury in Wisconsin and the alleged negligent conduct on Defendant's part in Illinois are the "material events" central to this dispute. Since neither party has shown that one event will overshadow the other in importance, this factor does not weigh on either side of the equation.

  3. Ease and Access of Sources of Proof — Neither parry argues whether proof will be more accessible in Illinois or Wisconsin.

  4. Convenience of the Parties — The convenience of the parties does not figure heavily in favor of or against transfer. Soo Line, as a large transportation company, will not suffer hardship by litigating this dispute in either Illinois or Wisconsin. See Firkus v. Soo Line R.R. Co., No. 96 C 3714, 1996 WL 568803, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 2, 1996). And although Plaintiff's inconvenience may not be asserted in a motion to transfer, see id, it should be noted that both Illinois and Wisconsin seem to be equally convenient to Plaintiff. Wisconsin appears to be a more geographically convenient forum to Plaintiff, a Wisconsin resident, but he chose to file the lawsuit in Illinois.

  5. Convenience of the Witnesses — The potential inconvenience to witnesses already ascertainable weighs strongly in favor of a transfer to the Western District of Wisconsin. Defendant submits an interrogatory response listing seven potential medical witnesses, as well as three Soo Line employees who have information about the circumstances surrounding Plaintiff's injury. Of the medical witnesses, five reside in Wisconsin and two in Minnesota. The employees of Soo Line are all residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Plaintiff asserts that some Illinois residents) will have critical Page 4 information ...

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