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ALLEYNE v. NIPPON YUSEN KAISHA

May 27, 1971

Wilfred A. ALLEYNE
v.
NIPPON YUSEN KAISHA


Van Artsdalen, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: VAN ARTSDALEN

VAN ARTSDALEN, District Judge.

 This is a motion by the defendant shipowner to transfer this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1404(a) (1962) from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to the District Court for the Panama Canal Zone. This motion is denied.

 The plaintiff, a seaman, brought suit under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.A. § 688 (1958), in this district for personal injuries allegedly resulting from a fall while boarding the M/V ASO MARU which ship is owned by the defendant.

 The following are pertinent facts on the question of the most convenient jurisdiction for trying this suit:

 (1) Plaintiff is a Panamanian national who resides in the Canal Zone. Plaintiff is a seaman who works as a canal boatswain with Panama Canal Zone Company and is a United States Civil Service employee.

 (2) Plaintiff was deposed by the defendant on April 30, 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 (3) On May 31, 1970, plaintiff was allegedly injured while boarding the ship M/V ASO MARU which was moving slowly through Gatun Lake which is part of the canal system.

 (4) The M/V ASO MARU is a Japanese ship which seldom, if ever, would come to the Port of Philadelphia, but which occasionally passes through the Panama Canal.

 (5) The possible witnesses to the accident would be the employees of Nippon Yusen Kaisha who owned the M/V ASO MARU and the Panamanian seamen who were in the launch from which the plaintiff was disembarking when he fell. In addition there are certain co-employees of the plaintiff who may be witnesses to the permanency of plaintiff's injuries.

 (6) All the medical treatment which the plaintiff received was at various hospitals which are part of the United States Public Health Service in Panama with the exception of some very recent examinations in Philadelphia.

 (7) Plaintiff's counsel, who is also counsel for plaintiff's union, resides in Philadelphia.

 (8) Plaintiff fears that he will not receive a fair trial in the District Court ...


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