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Guignard v. Nat'l Railroad Passenger Corporation

April 1, 2012

GUIGNARD
v.
NAT'L RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION



Name of Assigned Judge or Magistrate Judge Amy J. St. Eve Sitting Judge if Other than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

The Court grants Defendant Amtrak's motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of California [26]. The Clerk's Office is directed to transfer this case to the Southern District of California. Status hearing set for 4/4/12 is stricken. The referral to Magistrate Judge Cox is hereby closed.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

Before the Court is Defendant National Railroad Passenger Corporation's motion to transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). For the following reasons, the Court grants the motion.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Edward Guignard, a resident of San Diego, California, filed a Complaint against National Railroad Passenger Corporation, d/b/a Amtrak ("Amtrak") in the Northern District of Illinois on January 9, 2011. (R. 1, Compl.) In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was injured while riding as a passenger on an Amtrak train on January 13, 2009, which departed from Union Station in Chicago and was bound for Los Angeles, California. The train allegedly derailed and crashed shortly after departure. (Id. ¶¶ 7-11.)

Plaintiff asserts a negligence claim against Amtrak--specifically, he alleges that Amtrak failed to 1) maintain communication between the train engineer and railroad dispatchers, which would have informed the engineer of the need to slow the train, 2) maintain its railroad tracks in a reasonably safe condition, 3) properly equip the rail car, and 4) adequately train its train engineers regarding safe operations of its trains.*fn1

(Id. ¶ 13.) The parties have completed fact discovery and are scheduled to complete expert discovery by April 27, 2012. See R. 12, 19.

Courtroom Deputy KF

Initials:

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to § 1404(a), a district court may transfer a civil action "'for the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice . . . to any other district or division where it might have been brought.'" Ace Hardware Int'l Holdings, Ltd. v. Masso Expo Corp., No. 11-cv-3928, 2011 WL 5077686, at *5 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 25, 2011) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)). Section 1404(a) "'is intended to place discretion in the district court to adjudicate motions for transfer according to a '"case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness.'" Research Automation, Inc. v. Schrader-Bridgeport Int'l, Inc., 626 F.3d 973, 977 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29, 108 S. Ct. 2239, 101 L. Ed. 2d 22 (1988)). 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." Methode Elecs., Inc. v. Delphi Auto. Sys. LLC, 639 F. Supp.2d 903, 907 (N.D. Ill. 2009). The moving party bears the burden of establishing these three factors. See Ace Hardware, 2011 WL 5099686, at *5 (citing Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219-20 (7th Cir. 1986) and Tri3 Enters., LLC v. Aetna, Inc., No. 11 C 3253, 2011 WL 2550736, at *1 (N.D. Ill. June 24, 2011)). "The weighing of factors for and against ...


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