The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Ronald A. Guzman
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff has sued the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Southern Illinois University School of Medicine ("SIU") and eight of their employees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for their alleged violations of his Eighth Amendment rights. IDOC has filed a motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. For the following reasons, the Court denies the motion.
On June 16, 2008, plaintiff injured himself while lifting weights at IDOC's Hill Correctional Center. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 19-20.) On June 23, 2008, Dr. Gregory A. Scherer told defendant Shute that plaintiff had a pectoralis tendon rupture that needed to be surgically repaired. (Id. ¶ 21.)
Defendants Olysav and Froelich, employees of SIU did not provide that or any other appropriate treatment for plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 24, 31, 38, 45.) In January 2009, plaintiff was transferred from Hill to IDOC's Stateville facility. (See Pl.'s Resp. Mot. Transfer Venue 3.) On July 31, 2009, he was examined by Drs. Goldberg and Ozoude, who concluded that "[plaintiff's] injury was too far out" to be surgically repaired. (Am. Compl. ¶ 22; id., Ex. B, McFarland Aff.) As a result, the once reparable injury to plaintiff's tendon is now permanent. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 25, 32, 39, 46.)
A motion to transfer venue is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), which permits the Court to transfer a case, "[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, [and] in the interest of justice," to any other district where the case could have been filed. A transfer is appropriate only if "(1) venue was proper in the transferor district, (2) venue and jurisdiction would be proper in the transferee district, and (3) the transfer will serve the convenience of the parties and the witnesses as well as the interests of justice." United Air Lines, Inc. v. Mesa Airlines, Inc., 8 F. Supp. 2d 796, 798 (N.D. Ill. 1998). The moving party has the burden of showing that "the transferee forum is clearly more convenient." Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219-20 (7th Cir. 1986). There is no dispute that venue is proper in both districts. Thus, the Court will consider only whether IDOC has shown that the Central District is clearly the more convenient forum.
In determining whether a transfer should be granted, the Court considers a number of private interests that include: (1) plaintiff's choice of forum; (2) the situs of material events; (3) the relative ease of access to sources of proof; and (4) the convenience of the parties and witnesses. Medi USA v. Jobst Inst., Inc., 791 F. Supp. 208, 210 (N.D. Ill. 1992). Plaintiff's choice of forum is given substantial weight, unless it has little connection to the suit. Plotkin v. IP Axess, Inc., 168 F. Supp. 2d 899, 902 (N.D. Ill. 2001). Such is the case here. The events giving rise to this suit are plaintiff's injury, which occurred at Hill, and the treatment he received by SIU doctors Froelich and Olysav. (See generally Am. Compl; id., Ex. B, Aff. McFarland (opining that plaintiff "was treated below the standard of care" by Froelich and Olysav).) Hill is in Galesburg in Knox County and SIU is in Springfield in Sangamon County, both of which are in the Central District of Illinois. (See SIU Summons); http://www.idoc.state.il.us/ (follow "Facilities" hyperlink; then select "Hill"); http://www.naco.org/Pages/default (follow "Find a County" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" and search "Sangamon"; then follow "Places in Sangamon County" hyperlink); id. (follow "Find a County" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" and search "Knox"; then follow "Places in Knox County" hyperlink); http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/navigation/il.htm (follow "Find in Your Area" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" (showing that Knox and Sangamon Counties are in the Central District)). Because plaintiff's choice of forum is not connected to the events underlying this suit, it is given little weight.
The access to proof factor has no impact on the analysis. Because the parties do not claim that any evidence needed for trial is difficult or impossible to transport, this factor is neutral. Kammin v. Smartpros, Ltd., No. 07 C 2665, 2007 WL 3046128, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 9, 2007).
The convenience of non-party witnesses, which is ordinarily given substantial weight, plays little role here. Id. Defendants argue that any such witnesses are likely to be Hill inmates or employees of SIU or Hill, and thus, located in the Central District. Given the facts plaintiff alleges, that is likely true. But neither IDOC nor plaintiff specifically identifies any non-party that they intend to call at trial. Accordingly, this factor is neutral.
Given the lack of non-party witnesses, the parties' convenience assumes great prominence in the analysis. Presumably, plaintiff lives in this district, though he alleges only that he lives in the state. (Am. Compl. ¶ 1.) IDOC, SIU, Olysav and Froelich are in Springfield in Sangamon County, Migliorino and Acevedo are in Galesburg in Knox County, and Shute is in Morton in Tazewell County. (See IDOC's Mem. Supp. Mot. Transfer Venue, Ex. B, Huntley Aff. ¶¶ 2-3, 5; Shute S u m m o n s ; M i g l i o r i n o m o n s ; F r o e l i c h mS u m o n s ; https://www.idfpr.com/DPR/licenselookup/default.asp (search "Physician" Olysav, D.); http://www.naco.org/Pages/default (follow "Find a County" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" and "Sangamon"; then follow "Places in Sangamon County" hyperlink); id. (follow "Find a County" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" and "Knox"; then follow "Places in Knox County" hyperlink); id. (follow "Find a County" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" and "Tazewell"; then follow "Places in Tazewell County" hyperlink). All three counties are in the Central District. See http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/navigation/il.htm (follow "Find in Your Area" hyperlink; then search "Illinois" (showing that Knox, Sangamon and Tazewell Counties are in the Central District)).
Wexford is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Pennsylvania. See https://www.corporations.state.pa.us/corp/soskb/csearch.asp (search "Wexford Health Sources").
Schaefer is in Sandwich in Dekalb County, Hardy is in Cresthill in Will County and Funk is in Chicago in Cook County, all of which are in the Northern District. (See Hardy Summons; Funk Summons; Schaefer Summons); http://www.naco.org/Pages/default (follow "Find a County" hyperlink; then search ...