United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM OPINION
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), requesting the Court to
transfer this action to the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of North Carolina. (Doc. No. 12). For
the reasons provided below, the Court DENIES
Jacob Maples, a resident of Dickson, Tennessee, sued
Defendant United States of America under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (“FTCA”). (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 1,
2). Plaintiff alleges that he was employed as a field
technician by Southwest Electric Company (“SWE”),
a sub-contractor of Government Contracting Resources
(“GCR”), and that GCR contracted with Defendant
to provide facility maintenance services at Marine Corps Air
Station Cherry Point (“Cherry Point”) in
Havelock, North Carolina. (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 7-9).
According to the Complaint, GCR subcontracted with SWE to
perform repairs and maintenance on a transformer at Cherry
Point in January 2015, and SWE assigned Plaintiff to perform
that work. (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 10, 12). Plaintiff
alleges that on February 26, 2015, his left thigh, right
knee, and right hand suffered severe burns while working at
Cherry Point when a military utility worker energized the
transformer Plaintiff was cleaning. (Doc. No. 1 ¶¶
13, 14). Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence, as well as
negligent supervision and control. (Doc. No. 1).
MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE
argues that this case should be transferred to the Eastern
District of North Carolina pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a) because “the operative acts at issue occurred
in the Eastern District of North Carolina, ” because
“all other relevant fact witnesses” besides the
Plaintiff reside or work outside the Middle District of
Tennessee “beyond this Court's subpoena power,
” and because “the Court will have to apply North
Carolina law.” (Doc. No. 14).
opposition, Plaintiff argues that venue is proper in this
Court and that Defendant failed to establish that transfer is
more convenient for the parties and is in the interest of
justice. (Doc. No. 16). Specifically, Plaintiff asserts: (1)
he is a resident of Tennessee and suffers from a physical
disability that would make travel to North Carolina
difficult; (2) the majority of non-party witnesses reside in
Tennessee; and (3) transfer of the case would impose an
additional financial burden on Plaintiff that Defendant will
not incur because it is the United States and has attorneys
in both districts. (Id.).
on the parties' filings, venue is proper in this District
under 28 U.S.C. § 1402. Accordingly, the issue before
the Court is whether, weighing certain factors, the Court
should exercise its discretion and transfer this action to
another venue. The Court's analysis centers on 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404, which states: “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.” District
courts have broad discretion to determine whether transfer is
appropriate. Norwood v. Kirkpatrick, 349 U.S. 29, 32
(1955); Reese v. CNH Am. LLC, 574 F.3d 315, 320 (6th
Cir. 2009). To resolve a motion to transfer venue, a court
the plaintiff's choice of forum, the convenience of the
witnesses and the residence of the parties, the location of
sources of proof, including the availability of compulsory
process to insure witness attendance, the location of the
events giving rise to the dispute, any obstacles to a fair
trial, the advantage of having the dispute adjudicated by a
local court, and all other considerations of a practical
nature that make a trial easy, expeditious, and economical.
LP Envtl., LLC v. Delfasco, LLC, 2015 WL 13145788,
at *2 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 25, 2015); Nollner v. S.
Baptist Convention, Inc., 2014 WL 3749522, at *7 (M.D.
Tenn. July 30, 2014).
moving party bears the burden of demonstrating that these
factors weigh strongly in favor of transfer. Reese,
574 F.3d at 320. This burden is not satisfied if transfer
merely shifts the inconvenience from one party to another.
Nollner, 2014 WL 3749522 at *7. Instead, the moving
party must prove that convenience and the interests of
justice are served by transfer. Id. “If the
court determines that the balance between the plaintiff's
choice of forum and defendant's desired forum is even,
the plaintiff's choice of forum should prevail.”
Delfasco, 2015 WL 13145788 at *2 (quoting B.E.
Tech, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., 957 F.Supp.2d 926, 931
(W.D. Tenn. 2013)) (internal quotations and citations
Plaintiff's Choice of Forum
afford substantial weight to a plaintiff's choice of
forum. Reese, 574 F.3d at 320. This factor weighs
strongly in favor of honoring the plaintiff's choice of
venue when, as here, no forum selection clause conflicts with
the plaintiff's choice of forum, . Nollner, 2014
WL 3749522, at *7. This is especially true where the
plaintiff resides in the chosen forum. Smith v. Kyphon,
Inc., 578 F.Supp.2d 954, 962 (M.D. Tenn. 2008).
Plaintiff resides ...