basic topic on which each would be called. Further, Blue Cross contends that it would be very inconvenient and expensive for all these witnesses to travel to this district. Finally, it argues that because Louisiana law will be applied and because the 1994 Agreement centered on performance in Louisiana, that Louisiana has the most significant relationship to the litigation.
In turn, DiMark contends that Blue Cross has not met the heavy burden it has of persuading this Court to transfer the case. It argues that there is no need for the Louisiana tax authorities to testify at this trial because who Louisiana designates as the tax debtor does not answer who DiMark and Blue Cross agreed would pay the tax. Further, DiMark presents its own list of witnesses and their proposed testimony. The proposed witnesses all reside in Pennsylvania. In addition, DiMark contends that Pennsylvania has a significant interest in rectifying a wrong, here the breach of a contract, done to one of its citizens. Finally, DiMark contends that Pennsylvania law applies to the tax dispute.
At the most, DiMark proposes, this Court faces an "equitable standoff," a situation in which one party will be inconvenienced no matter which forum is selected. In that situation, DiMark contends the appropriate course is to give substantial weight to its choice and therefore, deny Blue Cross's § 1404(a) request. Lieb v. American Pac. Int'l, Inc., 489 F. Supp. 690, 697 (E.D. Pa. 1980); Aquarium Pharms., Inc. v. Industrial Pressing & Packaging, Inc., 358 F. Supp. 441, 446 (E.D. Pa. 1973).
We turn now to our consideration of the relevant factors. Preliminarily, we agree with DiMark that many of the factors weigh equally on each side. For example, the relative ease of access to sources of proof, the availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling witnesses and the cost of obtaining willing witnesses and all other practical problems that make a trial of any case easy, expeditious and inexpensive. This case is largely one of contract interpretation. For that reason, the essential witnesses will most likely be the contract negotiators and the documents will be the 1994 Agreement itself and its supporting documents. It is apparent from the parties' submissions that these areas of proof are found equally in Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Blue Cross has failed to particularly identify any witnesses or documents that it cannot bring or will be greatly inconvenienced by bringing to Pennsylvania.
Further, this case appears to be a fairly straightforward diversity contract case, and therefore the administrative difficulties are not likely to overwhelm this Court's resources. In addition, the party harmed by the alleged breach is a Pennsylvania resident, which gives Pennsylvania citizens an interest in having this controversy decided at home, and alleviates the concern of burdening citizens of an unrelated forum with jury duty.
Finally, it appears that there is a dispute over which law, Pennsylvania's or Louisiana's, will apply to this action so that whichever forum addresses the case will have to resolve the issue. Also, at this point, it appears equally likely that Pennsylvania's law will ultimately be applied as Louisiana's will. We note that no party has indicated that Pennsylvania and Louisiana law differ on any relevant issues.
For all these reasons, we conclude that Blue Cross has not demonstrated that justice calls for a transfer of this action to Louisiana. For this reason, we deny the request. We do so, however, without prejudice, so that if during the course of the litigation it appears that Louisiana is a more appropriate forum, we may reconsider the question.
An appropriate Order follows.
AND NOW, this day of January, 1996, upon consideration of the Motion of Defendant Louisiana Health Service and Indemnity Company to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, to Dismiss for Lack of Proper Venue, or in the alternative, to Transfer to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana and responses thereto, the Motion is hereby DENIED without PREJUDICE in accordance with the attached Memorandum.
BY THE COURT:
J. CURTIS JOYNER, J.