United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL R. BARRETT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court upon the Motion to Transfer
Venue filed by Defendant Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
(“Samsung”). (Doc. 26). Named Plaintiffs Lisa
DeFrank, Chris Garcia, Mark DiTroia, Carl Gersh, Wendy Dowds,
Maria Keene, and Ashley Nuibe, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”), filed a Response in Opposition
(Doc. 28), and Samsung filed a Reply (Doc. 29). For the
reasons set forth below, Samsung's Motion will be
to the Amended Complaint, Samsung is responsible for
designing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling consumer
clothes drying machines (“dryers”) with a faulty
design or manufacturing process, resulting in a defect that
rendered the dryers unusable for their stated purpose. (Doc.
22, ¶ 1). Plaintiffs purchased the dryers in question
through various retailers between December 2011 and May 2017
(Id., ¶¶ 23, 33, 41, 50, 61, 69, 77), and
allege that Samsung's use of “thin-gauge steel . .
. and/or defective fly wheels, ” eventually caused
large cracks in the drum and subsequent exposure of the
heating element (Id., ¶ 6).
seek class certification pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, and accordingly propose a single
nationwide class in addition to six subclasses composed of
individuals who purchased one or more of 164 models of
Samsung dryers (Id., Attach. A) in the states of
California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Illinois, and
Florida. (Id., ¶ 137). The Amended
Complaint contains eleven counts against Samsung, including
two under federal law on behalf of the nationwide class (or,
alternatively, on behalf of each of the state subclasses),
three under California law, two under Ohio law, and one each
under the state laws of New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois, and
Florida. (Id., ¶¶ 146-260).
filed their Initial Complaint (Doc. 1) and, in response to
Samsung's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 16), filed an Amended
Complaint (Doc. 22). See Fed. R. Civ. P.
15(a)(1)(B). Samsung responded by filing the currently
pending Motion to Transfer Venue, arguing that the balance of
the relevant factors strongly supports transfer of this
action to the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey. (Doc. 26).
Standard of Law
relevant part, the statute governing changes of venue
provides that “[f]or 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. . . .” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404(a). The district courts retain broad discretion
to adjudicate motions to transfer venue on an
“individualized, case-by-case consideration of
convenience and fairness.” Stewart Org., Inc. v.
Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988) (quoting Van
Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 622 (1964)); see
Artisan Dev., Div. of Kaiser Aetna v. Mountain States Dev.
Corp., 402 F.Supp. 1312, 1314 (S.D. Ohio 1975)
(“[D]ecisions on transfer motions are left in large
measure to the sound discretion of the district court judge
and that discretion is broader than traditionally permitted
or exercised under the doctrine of forum non
plaintiff's original choice of venue is entitled to
“considerable weight, ” the court should also
examine “both the private interest of the litigants and
the public's interest in the administration of
justice.” Hanning v. New England Mut. Life Ins.
Co., 710 F.Supp. 213, 214 (S.D. Ohio 1989); accord
Moses v. Bus. Card Express, Inc., 929 F.2d 1131, 1137
(6th Cir. 1991) (“[P]ublic-interest concerns, such as
systemic integrity and fairness . . . come under the rubric
of ‘interests of justice.'”). Ultimately, the
moving party bears the burden of proving that transfer under
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) will serve the interests of justice
and not merely shift inconvenience from one party to another.
Hanning, 710 F.Supp at 215.
named Plaintiffs (and proposed class representatives) in the
Amended Complaint, two reside in Ohio, and one each reside in
the states of California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and
New Mexico. (Doc. 22, ¶¶ 22, 32, 40, 49, 60, 68,
76). Samsung is a New York corporation with its principal
place of business in New Jersey. (Doc. 26 at PageID 202).
District of New Jersey
Court must first consider whether the present action might
have been brought in the District of New Jersey. See
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). “An action ‘might have
been brought' in a transferee court if: (1) the
[transferee] court has jurisdiction over the subject matter
of the action; (2) venue is proper there; and (3) the
defendant is amenable to process issuing out of the
transferee court.” Collaborative Sys. Grp. v.
Grove, No. 1:10cv543, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195814, at
*2 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 18, 2012) (citing Sky Tech. Partners,
LLC v. Midwest Research Inst., 125 F.Supp.2d 286, 291
(S.D. Ohio 2000)). Under the general venue statute,
“[a] civil action may be brought in . . . a judicial
district in which any defendant resides. . . .” 28
U.S.C. § 1391(b)(1). The parties do not dispute that
this matter could have been brought in the District of New
Jersey (Doc. 26, PageID 206); (Doc. 28, PageID 222), and the
Court, after reviewing the Amended Complaint, concurs.
Public and ...