Defendant is a New York corporation with its principal place of business in New York. Moreover, third-party defendants are New York corporations operating solely within that state. The accident occurred while the vessel was in navigable waters in the Port of Brooklyn and the medical treatment was rendered by third-party defendant hospital in New York and by the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Maryland. Of the list of thirteen witnesses to the accident and to the events occurring prior and subsequent thereto submitted by defendant, none of the witnesses reside in this District. Moreover, all of the medical witnesses relating to plaintiff's claim of inadequate medical treatment reside in New York and all records relating to the medical treatment rendered plaintiff are likewise located in New York. Plaintiff's only contact with this forum is that his counsel maintains his office in Philadelphia. It is well settled, however, that convenience of counsel is entitled to little consideration in deciding a motion to transfer pursuant to Section 1404(a). Weinberger v. Retail Credit Co., 345 F. Supp. 165, (E.D.Pa.1972); Bird v. Central Railroad Co. of New Jersey, (E.D.Pa.1971); Materials Technology, Inc. v. Circuit Foil Corp., 49 F.R.D. 79 (E.D.Pa.1970); Roller Bearing Co. of America v. Bearings, Inc., 260 F. Supp. 639 (E.D.Pa.1966). Even assuming convenience of counsel were a valid consideration, the firm of plaintiff's counsel maintains a New York office, rendering any inconvenience suffered de minimus. Thus, since none of the operative facts occurred in this District, we conclude that the convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interest of justice mandate that the defendant's motion to transfer this action to the Eastern District of New York be granted.
Plaintiff has, however, asserted several arguments which merit discussion. First, plaintiff argues that the motion to transfer should be denied because defendant and third-party defendant have been dilatory in filing these motions in that two years have transpired since this action was initiated. Much of this delay, however, was occasioned by plaintiff. Approximately one month after the institution of this action, defendant served a notice to depose plaintiff. Because plaintiff's counsel could not ascertain the whereabouts of his client, the deposition was postponed for approximately sixteen months and even then required the necessity of a motion to produce the plaintiff for deposition. The deposition of the plaintiff provided defendant with a basis to file his third-party actions. Following our decision on the motion to dismiss filed by third-party defendant hospital, the motions to transfer were filed. Thus, the party chiefly responsible for the delay evident in this case has been the plaintiff, and he can not now be heard to complain of such delay.
Secondly, in connection with his "choice of forum" argument, plaintiff asserts that the mere fact he resides without the District should not be considered as a factor militating toward transfer, because a plaintiff is entitled to inconvenience himself in choosing his forum. Clendenin v. United Fruit Co., supra. In so doing, plaintiff has inconvenienced not only defendants, but also third-party defendants, thus possibly interfering with medical care at the hospital should this be called for trial. The consideration of convenience of the parties must be balanced between the parties. If this case were to be tried in Philadelphia, the inconvenience inflicted upon defendants would be significant while the inconvenience inflicted upon plaintiff would be slight. If, on the other hand, this case were to be tried in New York, defendant's inconvenience would be negligible, while plaintiff's inconvenience would remain slight. Thus, in balancing the factor of convenience to the parties, it is manifest that this action must be transferred.
Finally, plaintiff argues that it is unprecedented that a third-party defendant, who was not sued initially by plaintiff and is not necessary to a just determination of plaintiff's claim, may move to transfer the entire case. The hospital was joined as a third-party defendant because of plaintiff's claim of inadequate medical treatment. Thus, it is clear that the hospital was not joined as an "appendage" to the case merely for the purpose of transfer. We find no "complicity" between defendant and third-party defendant to have this action transferred, as plaintiff suggests, and were we to find such complicity our result might be different. Defendant has, however, filed an independent motion to transfer and it is on the basis of that motion that we have made our decision. Since plaintiff seeks recovery for inadequate medical care, the convenience of the medical witnesses constitutes a valid factor to be considered in making the determination to transfer. We intimate no view on the question whether a third-party defendant may move to transfer an entire action. Accordingly, defendants' motion to transfer will be granted.
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