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ROWLES v. HAMMERMILL PAPER CO.

July 6, 1988

MICHAEL JOHN ROWLES, Individually, etc.
v.
HAMMERMILL PAPER COMPANY, INC. t/a ADVANCE PAPER AND CHEMICAL COMPANY


Edward N. Cahn, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CAHN

EDWARD N. CAHN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Defendant Hammermill Paper Company, Inc., t/a Advance Paper and Chemical Company (hereinafter "Hammermill"), a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Erie, Pennsylvania, has moved to transfer this case to United States District Court for the District of Maryland pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The motion will be granted.

 This suit arises from a motor vehicle accident which occurred in Cecil County, Maryland on February 19, 1987. Plaintiff brought a survival action on behalf of his deceased spouse and three claims for wrongful death on behalf of himself and his two minor children. Plaintiff alleges that a single unit truck driven by defendant's employee, Donald Lee Orner, collided with an automobile driven by Carol Helmkamp in which plaintiff's decedent and three other individuals were passengers. The collision resulted in the deaths of Catherine Rowles, the driver of the automobile, and two other passengers. The remaining passenger was seriously injured. The automobile in which Catherine Rowles was a passenger was owned by Harford Community College of Maryland.

 At the time of the accident, plaintiff, plaintiff's decedent and their children were residents of Harford County, Maryland. Plaintiff and his children, at the time of initiating this suit, were citizens of New Jersey residing in the town of Marlton, approximately fifteen miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff is currently employed in Philadelphia where both he and his wife were born, raised, educated and where his family and friends reside.

 The owner and driver of the automobile in which plaintiff's decedent was a passenger were residents of Maryland at the time of the accident, as were its other three passengers. Defendant's employee, Donald Lee Orner, is a resident of Delaware and was employed by a division of Hammermill located in Delaware. Defendant Hammermill is a resident of Pennsylvania, and is doing business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Defendant's Answer at 2. Jurisdiction is proper in this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) and (c). Venue is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a) and (c).

 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides that "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." Plaintiff could have brought this action in the District of Maryland pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a) and (c), since Maryland is the situs in which the claim arose and the District of Maryland has personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue at 3.

 Motions to transfer venue are decided by consideration of the same factors relevant to deciding a forum non conveniens motion. When weighing these factors, however, the court exercises broader discretion when deciding a § 1404(a) motion than when deciding a forum non conveniens motion. Also, a lesser showing of inconvenience is required to warrant transfer pursuant to § 1404(a) than is required to warrant dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds. Norwood v. Kirkpatrick, 349 U.S. 29, 32, 99 L. Ed. 789, 75 S. Ct. 544 (1955); Solomon v. Continental Am. Life Ins. Co., 472 F.2d 1043, 1046 (3d Cir. 1973); Kahhan v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 566 F. Supp. 736, 738 (E.D. Pa. 1983).

 The factors relevant to deciding § 1404(a) motions are:

 
1. relative ease of access to sources of proof;
 
2. availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling witnesses;
 
3. cost of attendance at trial by willing witnesses;
 
4. the possibility of view of the premises, if appropriate;
 
5. all other practical problems that make trial of a case easy, expeditious, ...

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