Eddie W. Cowley v. Mike Hooks, Inc

[B]Case Name: [/B]Eddie W. Cowley v. Mike Hooks, Inc.
[B]Date Decided: [/B]December 8, 2009
[B]Court: [/B]U.S.D.C. Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette and Opelousas Division
[B]Judge: [/B]Judge Patrick, Judge Hanna
[B]Citation:[/B] 2009 WL 4758727 (W.D.La.)[B]Background:
[/B]Defendants, Mike Hooks Inc. (“Hooks”) filed a motion to transfer venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). Plaintiff, Eddie W. Cowley, (“Cowley”) opposes this motion on grounds that it would not be convenient to transfer this action from Lafayette, Louisiana to Lake Charles, Louisiana. This motion*arose under an action filed under general maritime law and Jones Act.

[/B]Did this Court rule in favor of defendants and transfer this action to another venue?

[/B]At the telephone conference, the parties discussed the private factors in the transfer analysis, particularly the relative ease of access to sources of proof and cost of attendance for willing witnesses.

The Court found that two material witnesses, living in the Lafayette area, including the captain of the dredge, tipped the balance towards Lafayette. Only one material witness is located in the Lake Charles area.

Accordingly this court found that the private factors considered favored transfer. As for the public factors, both divisions have similar dockets and are equally familiar with Admiralty and General Maritime Law. Therefore, there won’t be much difficulty by keeping this action in Lafayette opposed to Lake Charles.

Ultimately, this Court found that the defendant failed to show good cause for the transfer to the Lake Charles division and their motion was denied.

A dismissal for forum non conveniens and a motion to transfer are two different things. Under a forum non conveniens claim, the moving party has a greater burden of showing inconvenience. [/B]

[B]Under a 1404 transfer the moving party has a smaller burden to show that both private and public factors weigh in favor of transfer. [/B]

[B]Steve Gordon [/B]