Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

FRESHTEC FOOD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT INT'L, LLC. v. EASY TRAY

November 22, 2005.

FRESHTEC FOOD PROCESSING, EQUIPMENT INTERNATIONAL, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
EASY TRAY, LLC, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: KIM GIBSON, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This case comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404. (Document No. 6). Upon consideration of the record in the case sub judice, the Defendant's unopposed motion, and the governing legal principles set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1404, the Court shall grant in part and deny in part the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or Transfer Venue Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404 for the following reasons.

JURISDICTION

  Jurisdiction is proper in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, in that all parties to the above-captioned civil action are citizens of different states, and the subject matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs. Specifically, Plaintiff is a Limited Liability Company organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with its principle place of business in Pennsylvania, and Plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs. Additionally, the Defendant is a Limited Liability Company organized under the laws of the State of South Carolina with its principal place of business in South Carolina. BACKGROUND*fn1

  The Plaintiff commenced the above-captioned civil action in the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Clearfield, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the issuance of a Writ of Summons followed by the filing of a Summons and Complaint on January 18, 2005. (Document No. 1).

  On or about May of 2003, the Defendant, "a newly formed South Carolina limited liability company," attempted to locate sources for production equipment for its anticipated operations. (Document No. 6, Exhibit A.). One of the companies identified during the Defendant's search was Backus USA, Inc.*fn2 (hereinafter "Backus USA"), "a food processing equipment supplier with representatives in North Carolina and Pennsylvania." Id. After initiating contact with Backus USA, a representative from Backus USA traveled to South Carolina to meet with personnel from the Defendant company. At that time, Backus USA provided to the Defendant estimated costs on various pieces of equipment. Id.

  Over the next several months, Backus USA actively sought the Defendant's business by continuing to meet with Defendant personnel in South Carolina. Additionally, Backus USA representative, David Knox, visited a building in South Carolina that was under consideration by the Defendant as a potential site for the Defendant's plant operations. (Document No. 6, Exhibit A). Thereafter, Backus USA President, Larry Salone, accompanied Mr. Knox on a subsequent visit to the Defendant operation site in order to gather information and provide a comprehensive quote to the Defendant. Id.

  On or about March 23, 2004, "Backus USA [] and the Defendant entered into an agreement in which [the] Defendant agreed to purchase an onion processing line and pepper processing line from Backus USA." (Document No. 1, Exhibit 1). One of Backus USA's responsibilities, inter alia, under the terms of the contract was to deliver equipment to the Defendant in South Carolina. (Document No. 6, Exhibit A). Once the equipment arrived, Backus USA agreed to install, integrate, and debug the equipment, as well as train the Defendant's employees. Id.

  Subsequent to the parties entering into the agreement on March 23, 2004, the Plaintiff, Freshtec, alleges that Backus USA assigned all if its right, title and interest in the contract to the Plaintiff. (Document No. 1, Exhibit 1). Similarly, the Defendant contends that it "understood that the equipment to be supplied as part of the contract [between Backus USA and Defendant] would be coming from a variety of manufacturers." (Document No. 6, Exhibit D). In fact, "the vast majority of the equipment was to be supplied by various companies from other states[,] as well as overseas." Id. Also, some of the equipment and machines were to be supplied by the Plaintiff.*fn3 Id.

  During the course of the business relationship between the Plaintiff and the Defendant, the Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant failed to fulfill Defendant's responsibilities under the terms of the contract. Id. For example, the Plaintiff alleges that the "Defendant failed to provide assistance to Plaintiff for the various components necessary to finish the onion and pepper processing lines." (Document No. 1, Exhibit 1, ¶ 8). Additionally, the Plaintiff asserts that the "Defendant[] failed to pay Plaintiff for the $30,000.00 in shipping expenses that [P]laintiff has incurred to date." Id. at ¶ 9. Consequently, based upon the Defendant's alleged indication to the Plaintiff that "it does not intend to pay Plaintiff the amount due Plaintiff under the contract," Plaintiff filed the above-captioned action against the Defendant for "anticipatory breach of the contract entitling Plaintiff to the full amount it would be entitled to under the contract." Id. at ¶¶ 12-13.

  On May 13, 2005, the Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, or, in the Alternative to Transfer Venue Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404. Although the Court has granted Plaintiff sufficient time in which to respond to Defendant's motion, the Plaintiff failed to file a response in opposition to the motion, as required by Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1.

  DISCUSSION

  Initially, the Court observes that 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) governs transfer requests and provides that "[f]or 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." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 878 (3d Cir. 1995); Rappoport v. Steven Spielberg, Inc., 16 F.Supp.2d 481, 497-98 (D.N.J. 1998). "The purpose of § 1404(a) is to avoid the waste of time, energy and money and, in addition to safe guard litigants, witnesses and the public against avoidable inconvenience and expense." Rappoport, 16 F.Supp.2d at 497. The party moving to transfer venue bears the burden of establishing the need for a transfer of venue; however, such motions "are not to be liberally granted as the plaintiff's choice of venue is not to be lightly disturbed."*fn4 National Paintball Supply, Inc. v. Cossio, 996 F.Supp. 459, 462 (E.D. Pa. 1998).

  The Court observes that the Third Circuit has set forth that the "choice of forum by a plaintiff is normally a `paramount concern' in deciding a motion to transfer venue." Rappoport, 16 F.Supp. at 499 (citing Honeywell, 817 F.Supp. at 480). The choice of forum by a plaintiff "is `entitled to greater deference' when a plaintiff chooses its home forum." Id. Indeed, "[t]he forum chosen by a plaintiff is considered to be presumptively correct." Rappoport, 16 F.Supp. at 499. However, this presumption is not dispositive. American Tel. & Tel. Co. v. MCI Communications Corp., 736 F.Supp. 1294, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.