The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, District Judge.
This is a declaratory judgment action brought by the
plaintiff, Britamco Underwriters, Inc. ("Britamco") against the
defendant, Raymond E. Wallace Special Productions, Inc.
("Wallace") to resolve coverage issues of a marine liability
insurance policy that Britamco issued to Wallace. Before the
court is Wallace's Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue
pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(3) of Civil Procedure, or
alternatively Motion to Transfer for Improper Venue pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) and/or Motion to Transfer pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). For the following reasons, the motions will
On August 24, 1998 Britamco filed suit seeking to determine
whether Britamco is required to provide coverage to Wallace on
a marine liability insurance policy. Wallace "specifically
purchased the . . . policy for the express purpose of obtaining
coverage with respect to the work that Wallace did in
connection with the MOSHULU." (Def.'s Mem. at 18).*fn1 The
MOSHULU is an historic sailing vessel in Philadelphia that was
renovated in part by Wallace. Wallace's work allegedly caused
some property losses. As a result of these losses, the owners
of the MOSHULU, HMS Ventures, Inc. sued Wallace and others
involved in the work on the MOSHULU.
Wallace moves to dismiss under Federal Rule 12(b)(3) of Civil
Procedure or transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) the Complaint
for improper venue arguing that this court is an improper venue
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(2). Because Britamco invokes
the court's admiralty jurisdiction,*fn2 however, the
requirements for proper venue are found in 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
Section 1391(b) states in pertinent part that "[a] civil action
. . . may, except as otherwise provided by law, be brought only
in . . . (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of
the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred[.]. .
Venue is determined by focusing on the location of those
"events or omissions giving rise to the claim," rather than the
defendant's "contacts with a particular district." See Cottman
Transmission Sys. v. Martino, 36 F.3d 291, 294 (3d Cir. 1994).
The court is not required to select the best forum. Id.
However, the substantiality requirement of Section 1391(b)(2)
exists "to preserve the element of fairness so that a defendant
is not haled into a remote district having no real relationship
to the dispute." Id. To determine whether an act or omission
giving rise to the claims is "substantial," the court must look
at the nature of the dispute. See Id.
The alleged acts of misrepresentation and concealment
apparently did not occur in this district but a district in
California since Wallace, a California corporation, purchased
the insurance policy from an insurance broker in California.
See (Complaint ¶ 2; Ex. C). However, the policy was procured to
specifically cover Wallace's work on the MOSHULU in
Philadelphia. The losses for which Wallace was alleged to be
liable occurred in Philadelphia. Furthermore, the suit against
Wallace for these losses was filed in this district.
Wallace argues that venue is improper because it is a
California corporation with its principal place of business in
California, the insurance policy application was completed in
California, the insurance broker through which Wallace
purchased the insurance policy is located in California and
Britamco is not a Pennsylvania corporation. As Britamco
correctly points out, however, "[t]he creation of the contract
. . . is but one event in a series of events which give rise to
this action." Cornell & Co., Inc. v. Home Ins. Companies, No.
CIV.A. 94-5118, 1995 WL 46618 at *6 (E.D.Pa. Feb. 6, 1995).
Other events giving rise to this action include: (1) Wallace's
work on the MOSHULU in Philadelphia, (2) the property losses of
the MOSHULU in Philadelphia and (3) the ensuing suit filed in
this district by HMS Ventures, Inc. against Wallace. It is
clear that these events are more than tangential to the
dispute. Therefore, since this forum has a real relationship to
the action and a substantial part of the events which led to
this action occurred here, it is fair to hale Wallace into this
Wallace also moves to transfer the case from this district as
an inconvenient forum pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). 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