United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
TANYA PENDERGRASS-WALKER, ET AL. Plaintiffs
GUY M. TURNER, INC., ET AL. Defendants
I. QUINONES ALEJANDRO Judge.
this Court is a motion to dismiss, or, in the
alternative, to transfer filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1406(a) and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
("Rules") 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and 12(b)(3) by
Defendant Guy M. Turner, Inc., a/k/a Turner Transfer
("Turner"),  [ECF 22], a motion to transfer
venue filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1406(a)
and 1404(a) by Defendants National Railroad Passenger Corp.
("Amtrak") and CSX Transportation, Inc.,
("CSX") (collectively with Turner,
"Defendants"), [ECF 26], as well as the responses
in opposition filed by Plaintiffs Tanya Pendergrass-Walker,
Phinezy Walker, Jr., Minnie Pendergrass, and Tia Martin
(“Plaintiffs”), [ECF 24, 28], and the reply filed
by Defendants Amtrak and CSX. [ECF 32]. The issues presented
in the motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for
reasons set forth herein, Defendants' motions to transfer
venue are granted. In the interests of justice, this matter
is transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1406(a), to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
are residents of Pennsylvania. (Compl. at ¶¶ 1-3)
[ECF 1]. On March 9, 2015, Plaintiffs suffered injuries when
the Amtrak train on which they were passengers struck a
tractor-trailer, owned and operated by Turner, at a railroad
crossing in Halifax, North Carolina. (See Id. at
¶¶ 16-31). The complaint does not allege the
principal place of business or the state of incorporation of
any of the Defendants. Instead, the complaint indicates that
Amtrak and CSX “regularly conduct and/or transact
business” in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,
(id. at ¶¶ 10-11), and that Turner
“regularly operates tractor-trailers in Pennsylvania,
” and, more particularly, “within the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.” (Id. at ¶ 8).
filed the instant motions objecting to venue in this Court.
Turner seeks the dismissal of the complaint or,
alternatively, joins the other Defendants in requesting that
this matter be transferred to the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §1406(a), where the train collision underlying
Plaintiffs' claims occurred.
28 U.S.C. §1390 et seq., governs venue in
federal court. Specifically, Section 1391(b) provides:
A civil action may be brought in-(1) a judicial district in
which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents
of the State in which the district is located; (2) a judicial
district in which a substantial part of the events or
omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial
part of property that is the subject of the action is
situated; or (3) if there is no district in which an action
may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any
judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the
court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such
venue purposes, a corporation “shall be deemed to
reside, if a defendant, in any judicial district in which
such defendant is subject to the court's personal
jurisdiction with respect to the civil action in question . .
. .” Id. at §1391(c)(2). If venue is
improper, the district court has the discretion to either
dismiss the case or, if it be in the interest of justice,
transfer it to a district in which it could have originally
been brought. Id. at §1406(a). A defendant
filing a §1406(a) motion to transfer venue has the
burden of proving that venue is improper. See Myers v.
Am. Dental Ass'n, 695 F.2d 716, 725 (3d Cir. 1981)
(establishing that “the defendant should ordinarily
bear the burden of showing improper venue”); see
also Reitnour v. Cochran, 1987 WL 9774, at *1 n.1 (E.D.
Pa. Apr. 22, 1987) (defendant, as the movant, bears burden of
proving improper venue in context of §1406(a) motion).
determine personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant
corporation, courts undertake a two-step analysis; to
wit: (1) the court looks to the forum state's
long-arm statute to determine if personal jurisdiction is
permitted over the defendant, and (2) assuming that there is
a basis for asserting personal jurisdiction under the state
statute, the court must determine whether the exercise of
personal jurisdiction comports with the due process clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment. IMO Indus., Inc. v. Kiekert
AG, 155 F.3d 254, 259 (3d Cir. 1998).
process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that a
defendant have “minimum contacts” with the forum
state, and that the exercise of jurisdiction comport with
“traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice.” Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington,
326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (internal quotations and citations
omitted). The determination of whether minimum contacts exist
requires an examination of ...