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FIACCO v. UNITED TECHS. CORP.

July 18, 1981

Eleanor M. FIACCO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORP., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK

MEMORANDUM ORDER

I.

 This is an action arising out of a crash which occurred while a helicopter was transporting plaintiffs' decedents from Bergen, Norway to an oil drilling platform in the North Sea.

 Plaintiff Eleanor Fiacco, Administratrix of the Estate of Robert Fiacco, is a citizen and resident of the State of New York. Of the remaining eight plaintiffs, seven are Norwegian citizens, and one is a citizen of the United Kingdom.

 The defendant is a United States corporation organized and existing under the laws of Delaware with its principal place of business in Connecticut. Defendant is presumably "doing business" in New York for purposes of personal jurisdiction, pursuant to New York CPLR § 301, and for purposes of venue, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c). *fn1"

 The amended complaint alleges the following bases of jurisdiction: diversity of citizenship, the general maritime law, and the Death on the High Seas Act (46 U.S.C. § 761 et seq.). The complaint sounds in strict liability in tort, negligence and breach of warranty.

 Defendant asks this court to dismiss the action on the ground of forum non conveniens. Defendant asks alternatively that the action of plaintiff Fiacco be severed from the remaining actions, that the claims of the alien plaintiffs be dismissed on the ground of forum non conveniens, and that the Fiacco claim be transferred to Connecticut, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). *fn2"

 Defendant has offered to concede liability and to submit itself to the jurisdiction of a competent Norwegian court, if this court will dismiss. Given these concessions, defendant argues, this court is required, pursuant to the relevant factor analysis as dictated by the United States Supreme Court in Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 505-509, 67 S. Ct. 839, 841-843, 91 L. Ed. 1055 (1947), to dismiss the instant action.

 For the reasons given below, defendant's motion is in all respects denied.

 II.

 In Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, supra, 330 U.S. 501, 67 S. Ct. 839, 91 L. Ed. 1055 (1947), the United States Supreme Court outlined the factors to be considered in determining the issue of forum non conveniens :

 
An interest to be considered, and the one likely to be most pressed, is the private interest of the litigant. Important considerations are the relative ease of access to sources of proof; availability of compulsory process for attendance of unwilling, and the cost of obtaining attendance of willing, witnesses; possibility of view of premises, if view would be appropriate to the action; and all other practical problems that make trial of a case easy, expeditious and inexpensive. There may also be questions as to the enforceability of a judgment if one is obtained. The court will weigh relative advantages and obstacles to fair trial. It is often said that the plaintiff may not, by choice of an inconvenient forum, "vex," "harass," or "oppress" the defendant by inflicting upon him expense or trouble not necessary to his own right to pursue his remedy. But unless the balance is strongly in favor of the defendant, the plaintiff's choice of forum should rarely be disturbed.

 Id. at 508, 67 S. Ct. at 843 (footnote ...


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