The cases cited for that proposition [ Thomson & McKinnon v. Minyard, 291 F. Supp. 573 (S.D.N.Y. 1968); Blue Diamond Coal Co. v. United Mine Workers, 282 F. Supp. 562 (E.D. Tenn. 1968); Cressman v. United Air Lines, Inc., 158 F. Supp. 404 (S.D.N.Y. 1958)], however, lend little support to it. In both Thomson and Cressman, the cases were, in fact, transferred, consequently the comment was dictum. In the remaining case, Blue Diamond Coal, the district court stated that the possibility of consolidation was a strong factor to be considered in determining whether to transfer, but that it was not the only factor to be considered. The court denied the motion because it concluded that plaintiff could be prejudiced if the case were transferred.
There are cases, on the other hand, indicating that transfer solely for the purpose of consolidation is proper, but no case clearly holds that transfer of a simple tort claim is warranted solely to permit a single trial rather than two trials in separate forums.
In General Tire and Rubber Co. v. Watkins, 373 F.2d 361 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. General Tire & Rubber Co., 386 U.S. 960, 87 S. Ct. 1031, 18 L. Ed. 2d 109 (1967), the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a court may transfer a case from one district to another to prevent an extravagantly wasteful and useless duplication of the time and efforts of the federal courts by the simultaneous trial of two complex and elaborate cases involving substantially the same factual issues. The instant case and the one pending in New Jersey hardly qualify as "complex and elaborate cases," consequently, General Tire is not clear authority that transfer would be a proper exercise of discretion here.
In Jacobs v. Tenney, 316 F. Supp. 151 (D. Del. 1970), the district court granted a motion to transfer for the purpose of consolidation with similar class actions pending in the transferee district even though it found the convenience of the parties in equipoise. That case, however, involved a stockholders' derivative suit against the same defendants (and others sued in the transferee district) with complex questions under federal securities laws, and is consequently not, in my view, good authority for granting the motion to transfer the instant case.
In Ungrund v. Cunningham Bros., Inc., 300 F. Supp. 270 (S.D. Ill. 1969), the district court stated that transfer for the purpose of consolidation with pending actions arising out of the same transaction in the proposed transferee district was in itself sufficient to justify transfer. The statement in Ungrund, however, is weakened by the fact that the court ordered the transfer for the convenience of the parties and witnesses as well as for the purpose of consolidation.
The case most analogous to the instant case is McMahon v. General Motors Corp., 308 F. Supp. 302 (E.D. Pa. 1969), decided by my colleague, Judge Hannum. In McMahon, the plaintiff's decedent was involved in a fatal head-on automobile collision in New Jersey. Plaintiff instituted suit against the driver of the other vehicle in New Jersey, and sued General Motors in this district. Judge Hannum ordered the case transferred to New Jersey in the interests of effective judicial administration, but he also found that the convenience of the parties favored suit in New Jersey. Although McMahon lends some support to the proposition that a case may be transferred so that it might be joined with similar actions pending in the transferee district, in light of Judge Hannum's considerations relating to convenience of the parties, I cannot view it as strong precedent that a case may be transferred solely for the purpose of consolidation.
It is apparent that the law relating to the issue raised here is not free from doubt. For reasons which follow, I conclude, albeit with some reservation, that § 1404(a) authorizes transfer where the only reason for the transfer is to enable the case to be consolidated for trial with another case pending in the transferee district. Accepting that as so, it is my view that the interests of justice will be better served by transferring this case to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Generally speaking, litigation of related claims in the same tribunal is favored in the federal court system in order to avoid duplicitous litigation, attendant unnecessary expense and loss of time to courts, witnesses and litigants and to avoid inconsistent results. See Schneider v. Sears, 265 F. Supp. 257 (S.D.N.Y. 1967) and cases cited therein.
Section 1404(a) is a codification of this general policy. In VanDusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616, 84 S. Ct. 805, 809, 11 L. Ed. 2d 945 (1964) the Supreme Court stated:
"Section 1404(a) reflects an increased desire to have federal civil suits tried in the federal system at the place called for in the particular case by considerations of convenience and justice. Thus * * * the purpose of the section is to prevent the waste 'of time, energy and money' and 'to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense.'"
Even prior to VanDusen, Mr. Justice Black speaking for the majority of the Court in Continental Grain Co. v. Barge FBL-585, 364 U.S. 19, 26, 80 S. Ct. 1470, 1474, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1540 (1960) stated that:
"To permit a situation in which two cases involving precisely the same issues are simultaneously pending in different District Courts leads to the wastefulness of time, energy and money that § 1404(a) was designed to prevent."