United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
MEMORANDUM ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING MOTION TO
C. Hanks Jr. United States District Judge
Sayde Rodriguez and Maria Diaz, filed this lawsuit on October
31, 2016, alleging that they sustained physical injuries
while they were employed by Defendant Tyson Foods at its
manufacturing facility at 300 Portwall St. in Houston, Texas.
contend that Tyson was negligent for, among other things,
failing to warn them of a hazardous or known dangerous
condition in the facility, failing to provide them with safe
working conditions in the facility, failing to remedy a known
dangerous condition, failing to adequately train their
personnel in workplace safety, failing to provide adequate
supervision in the workplace, and failing to provide proper
supervision over Plaintiffs' work area.
has filed a motion to transfer this case to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston
Division. Dkt. 13. Although Plaintiffs indicated that they
were opposed to the transfer, the deadline for a response has
passed without a response being filed by Plaintiffs.
FOR CONVENIENCE TRANSFERS
U.S.C. § 1404(a) allows a district court to transfer a
civil action “for the convenience of parties and
witnesses, in the interest of justice ... to any other
district or division where it might have been brought.”
The statute is intended to save “time, energy, and
money while at the same time protecting litigants, witnesses,
and the public against unnecessary inconvenience.”
Republic Capital Dev. Grp., L.L.C. v. A.G. Dev. Grp.,
Inc., No. H-05-1714, 2005 WL 3465728, at *8 (S.D. Tex.
Dec. 19, 2005). Motions to transfer venue under §
1404(a) are committed to the sound discretion of the district
court. Jarvis Christian College v. Exxon Corp., 845
F.2d 523, 528 (5th Cir. 1988). The party seeking transfer has
the burden of showing good cause for the transfer. In re
Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545 F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir.
2008) (en banc). The burden on the movant is
“significant, ” and for a transfer to be granted,
the transferee venue must be “clearly more convenient
than the venue chosen by the plaintiff.” Id.
Could this lawsuit have been filed in Houston?
threshold question for a district court considering a motion
to transfer venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) is whether
the suit could have been filed in movant's desired
transfer venue. In re Volkswagen AG, 371 F.3d 201,
203 (5th Cir. 2004); see also Wells v. Abe's Boat
Rentals Inc., No. CIV.A. H-13-1112, 2014 WL 29590, at *1
(S.D. Tex. Jan. 3, 2014).
parties do not dispute that venue would be proper in the
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, and the
Court finds that this lawsuit indeed could have been brought
Balancing of Private and Public Factors
the Court must determine whether on balance the transfer
would serve “the convenience of parties and
witnesses” and “the interest of justice”
under 28 U.S.C. §1404(a) by weighing a number of private
and public interest factors. In re Volkswagen Am.,
Inc., 545 F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir. 2008). The private
concerns include: (1) the relative ease of access to sources
of proof; (2) the availability of compulsory process to
secure the attendance of witnesses; (3) the cost of
attendance for willing witnesses; and (4) all other practical
problems that make trial of a case easy, expeditious, and
inexpensive. The public concerns include: (1) the
administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion;
(2) the local interest in having localized interests decided
at home; (3) the familiarity of the forum with the law that
will govern the case; and (4) the avoidance of unnecessary
problems of conflict of laws of the application of foreign
law. Id. No one single factor is given dispositive
weight. See Wells, 2014 WL 29590 at *1 (quoting
Action Indus., Inc. v. U.S. Fidelity & Guar.
Co., 258 F.3d 337, 340 (5th Cir. 2004)). The Court
analyzes these factors below.
Private Interest Factors
Court first considers the private interest factors: relative
ease of access to sources of proof; the availability of
compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses; the
cost of attendance for willing witnesses; and all other