United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ELIZABETH T. HEY, U.S.M.J.
products liability action, Plaintiff, Joanne Rehmeyer
(“Plaintiff”), asserts claims of negligence,
strict liability, and breach of warranty against Model
Pattern Company, Inc. (“MP”), Parker-Hannifin
Corporation (“Parker”), and Sidener Engineering
Company (“Sidener”) (collectively,
“Defendants”), arising from personal injuries
sustained at her workplace in Felton, Pennsylvania. Doc.
Presently before the court is Defendant Parker's motion
to transfer venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), and
Plaintiff's opposition thereto. Docs. 46 & 47. For
the reasons stated herein, the motion will be denied.
Complaint alleges that on November 7, 2014, Plaintiff was
injured while working on a trim press in the course of her
employment with automotive parts maker Key Plastics, when a
portion of the trim press disconnected from its cylinder and
descended, causing hand injuries. Complaint, Doc. 1-2
(“Complaint”) ¶ 47. Plaintiff is a resident of
Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, and her workplace injury occurred
in Felton, Pennsylvania -- both in York County -- and she
received post-injury medical care from a variety of emergency
personnel and medical providers located in York County.
Id. ¶¶ 1, 7; Plaintiff's Initial
Disclosures, Doc. 46-8 (“Pl.'s Initial
Disclosures”). York County is located in the Middle
District of Pennsylvania. 28 U.S.C. § 118(b).
October 21, 2016, Plaintiff initiated this products liability
lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Philadelphia is located in this district, the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. 28 U.S.C. § 118(a). On October
25, 2016, Defendant Parker filed a notice of removal to the
United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania, where it was docketed at Case No. 1:16-CV-2155,
and assigned to the Honorable William W.
Caldwell. Doc. 1-1; Doc. 47 Exh. A. Shortly
thereafter Parker notified Judge Caldwell that the matter was
improperly removed to the Middle District, and by Order dated
October 31, 2016, Judge Caldwell determined that the matter
should have been removed to this district pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a), and therefore transferred it here.
Rehmeyer v. Peake Plastics Corp., Case No.
1:16-CV-2155, Order (M.D. Pa. Oct. 31, 2016). The matter was
assigned to the Honorable Harvey Bartle, III. Judge Bartle
denied Plaintiff's motion to remand, concluding that
Judge Caldwell had properly transferred rather than remanded
the matter following the improper removal. Docs. 21 & 22.
The parties subsequently consented to my jurisdiction on
March 3, 2017. Doc. 39.
April 12, 2017, Defendant Parker filed the present motion to
transfer venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), arguing
that the convenience of the parties and witnesses, and the
interest of justice, weigh in favor of transferring the case
back to the Middle District. Doc. 46. In response, Plaintiff
argues that none of the relevant factors used in determining
whether transfer is warranted under section 1404(a) favor
transfer to the Middle District. Doc. 47. The other
defendants have neither sought to join, nor opposed,
purposes of the present motion, and given the nature of this
case, the primary pertinent facts are the location of
potential trial witnesses and exhibits. Most of these facts
may be gleaned from the pleadings and the parties'
initial disclosures, and they are not disputed unless
stated above, Plaintiff is a resident of Shrewsbury in York
County, Pennsylvania, and both her place of employment where
the injury occurred and the medical facilities where she
received treatment are located in York County. Complaint
¶¶ 1, 7; Pl.'s Initial Disclosures at 2-3.
Defendant MP's principal place of business in Michigan,
Defendant Parker's principal place of business is in
Ohio, and Defendant Sidener's principal place of business
is in Indiana. Complaint ¶¶ 4-6.According to the
Complaint, MP is in the business of designing, manufacturing
and supplying and/or selling trim dies, including the trim
die issued in the trim press at issue (“subject trim
press”); Parker is in the business of designing,
manufacturing, and selling hydraulic cylinders, including the
cylinder at issue (“subject cylinder”); and
Sidener designed, manufactured, and sold the subject cylinder
to Plaintiff's employer, Key Plastics. Id.
to an incident report prepared by Key Plastics, their
personnel made changes to the subject trim press during the
summer of 2014, to change the mold/die being used,
see Incident Report, Doc. 46 Exh. G (“Incident
Report”), and this may have altered the height of the
safety stops on the subject trim press. According to
Plaintiff's Initial Disclosures, individuals with
relevant knowledge include Plaintiff's co-workers at Key
Plastics, all of whom live in York County, Pennsylvania.
See Incident Report; Pl.'s Initial Disclosures.
The subject trim press is stored at a facility in Loganville,
Pennsylvania, which is also located in York County, where on
March 28, 2017, it was inspected by counsel, expert witnesses
and company representatives. See Inspection Sign-in
Sheet, Doc. 46 Exh. K. A further inspection of the subject
trim press is anticipated. Doc. 46 at 5 n.19 (ECF
to Sidener's Initial Disclosures, individuals with
relevant information about the subject cylinder include its
own employees who work in the state of Indiana, and other
individuals located at Key Plastics' headquarters located
in Michigan. See Sidener Initial Disclosures, Doc.
47 Exh. D. Similarly, MP employees identified as
having relevant information work in Michigan, Oregon,
Indiana, and/or Ohio. See Doc. 47 Exhs. E-G; MP
Initial Disclosures, Doc. 47 Exh. I. Parker did not identify any
individuals in its initial disclosures, but notes that Atlas
Cylinders of Des Plaines, Illinois, is a potential
third-party source of relevant and discoverable information.
See Doc. 47 Exh. J.
parties have not provided any affidavits or statements
indicating that any potential witnesses would be unable to
attend trial in either Harrisburg in the Middle District, or
Philadelphia in the Eastern District.
seeks a change of venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a),
(a) For the convenience of the 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 or to any district ...