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ABOUCHALACHE v. HILTON INT'L CO.

December 11, 1978

Choucri ABOUCHALACHE, Plaintiff,
v.
HILTON INTERNATIONAL CO., Conrad N. Hilton, Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr., Curt R. Strand, Sidney H. Willner, Charles A. Bell, C. Edwin Meyer, Jr., L. Edwin Smart, and Forwood C. Wiser, Jr., Defendants. Joseph L. COLLINS and Joseph J. Cappucci, Plaintiffs, v. HILTON INTERNATIONAL CO., Conrad N. Hilton, Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr., CurtR. Strand, Sidney H. Willner, Charles A. Bell, C. Edwin Meyer, Jr., L. Edwin Smart, and Forwood C. Wiser, Jr., Defendants. June Rose LLOYD, as Executrix under the Last Will and Testament of Robert Anthony Lloyd, Deceased, Plaintiff, v. HILTON INTERNATIONAL CO., Conrad N. Hilton, Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr., CurtR. Strand, Sidney H. Willner, Charles A. Bell, C. Edwin Meyer, Jr., L. Edwin Smart, and Forwood C. Wiser, Jr., Defendants. Jacob E. LOOHUIS, as Administrator of the Estate of Gesiena Geertruide Loohuis,Deceased, Plaintiff, v. HILTON INTERNATIONAL CO., Conrad N. Hilton, Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr., CurtR. Strand, Sidney H. Willner, Charles A. Bell, C. Edwin Meyer, Jr., L. Edwin Smart, and Forwood C. Wiser, Jr., Defendants. Sophia KIUKKOHEN, Plaintiff, v. HILTON INTERNATIONAL CO., Conrad N. Hilton, Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr., CurtR. Strand, Sidney H. Willner, Charles A. Bell, C. Edwin Meyer, Jr., L. EdwinSmart, and Forwood C. Wiser, Jr., Defendants. Nazih LADKI, Plaintiff, v. HILTON INTERNATIONAL CO., Curt R. Strand, Sidney H. Willner, and Charles A. Bell, Defendants. Joseph I. COLLINS and Joseph J. Cappucci, Plaintiffs, v. HILTON INTERNATIONAL HOTELS (U.K.) LTD., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK

I

These actions arise out of a bomb explosion in the London Hilton on September 5, 1975. Plaintiffs in the above-captioned cases either were injured in the explosion or are survivors of people who died as a result of the explosion. Plaintiffs have all brought actions in this court against a) Hilton International Co., Inc. ("Hilton International"), a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York, and b) members of its board of directors as of September 5, 1975. *fn1" Plaintiffs Collins and Cappucci have also brought an action against Hilton International (U.K.), Ltd. ("Hilton, U.K."). Plaintiffs charge defendants with negligence relating to the procedure for handling bomb threats in the London Hilton.

 II

 Jurisdiction

 As to the action against defendant Hilton International, that corporation has its principal place of business in New York; the individual defendants all reside in states other than Virginia. Plaintiffs reside as follows: Abouchalache in Lebanon, Lloyd in the United Kingdom, Loohuis in the Netherlands, Kiukkohen in Finland, Ladki in Lebanon, Collins and Cappucci in Virginia.

 As to the action by Collins and Cappucci against Hilton, U.K., the defendant is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Great Britain, while the plaintiffs reside in Virginia. *fn2"

 Thus this court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1332 with respect to all of these actions.

 III

 In this memorandum order I consider motions by all defendants to dismiss the actions against them on the principle of Forum non conveniens. *fn3" For the reasons which follow, those motions are granted.

 IV

 Standards for application of the principle of forum non conveniens

 "The principle of Forum non conveniens is simply that a court may resist imposition upon its jurisdiction even when jurisdiction is authorized by the letter of a general venue statute." Gulf Oil Corporation v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 507, 67 S. Ct. 839, 842, 91 L. Ed. 1055 (1947), Cited in Fiorenza v. United States Steel International, Ltd., 311 F. Supp. 117, 119 (S.D.N.Y.1969).

 The courts have considered the following factors relevant for determination of a motion to dismiss on the ground of Forum non conveniens : 1) access to the source of proof; 2) availability of compulsory process of witnesses; 3) proximity for view of the premises in issue; 4) local interest in the litigation; 5) the law to be applied, favoring "a forum that is at home with the state (or foreign) law that must govern the case"; and 6) the cost of obtaining witnesses. Gulf Oil Corporation v. Gilbert, supra, 330 U.S. at 508-09, 67 S. Ct. 839. See also Fitzgerald v. Texaco, Inc., 521 F.2d 448, 451 (2d Cir. 1975), Cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1052, 96 S. Ct. 781, 46 L. Ed. 2d 641 (1976); Farmanfarmaian v. Gulf Oil Corporation, 437 F. Supp. 910, 923 (S.D.N.Y.1977). An additional relevant factor is the right of plaintiffs, other things being equal, to choose the forum for litigation. See Norwood v. Kirkpatrick, 349 U.S. 29, 31, 75 S. Ct. 544, 99 L. Ed. 789 (1955), Quoting All States Freight v. Modarelli, 196 F.2d 1010, 1011 (3d Cir. 1952).

 Ultimately the decision as to whether or not the principle of Forum non conveniens should be applied in a particular case entails an exercise of the court's discretion. The court should employ the factors above set forth as aids to informing its discretion, and that informed discretion should be exercised "with regard to what is right and equitable under the circumstances and the law." Mobil Tankers Co., S.A. v. Mene Grande Oil Co., 363 F.2d 611, 613 (3d Cir.), Cert. denied, 385 U.S. 945, 87 S. Ct. 318, 17 L. Ed. 2d 225 (1966) (citing Langnes v. Green, 282 U.S. 531, 541, 51 S. Ct. 243, 75 L. Ed. 520 (1931)). See also Hoffman v. Goberman, 420 F.2d 423, 426 (3d Cir. 1970) ("Each case turns on its own ...


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