United States District Court, S.D. New York
April 29, 2004.
CAROLYN J. BLITZ, individually and as co-executrix of the estate of of William L. Sonn, deceased, Plaintiff, -against- AAR CORP. and AAR DISTRIBUTION, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR MARRERO, District Judge
DECISION AND ORDER
In reviewing the complaint and Notice of Removal filed in this matter
the Court noted that plaintiff ("Plaintiff") asserts that she is a
resident of New York, New York; that defendant AAR Corp. ("AAR") is a
Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Illinois and
that defendant AAR Distribution is an Illinois corporation with its
principal place of business in Illinois. The complaint indicates that the
events giving rise to the underlying action occurred at the Teterboro
Airport, New Jersey. Because it appears that all or most of the material
events, documents and other evidence, persons and potential witnesses
related to this action are located in the District of New Jersey, the
Court, by Order dated April 22, 2004, directed Plaintiff to show cause
why this matter should not be transferred to the District of New Jersey pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
In response, Plaintiff, by letters dated April 26 and 27, 2004,
informed the Court of another indispensable party, Myers Aero Service,
Inc. ("Myers") that Plaintiff seeks to name as an additional defendant.
Because Myers is a New York corporation with a principal business in New
York, Plaintiff maintains that when Myers is joined to the action the
case would lack complete diversity and thus the Court would have no
subject matter jurisdiction. Consequently, Plaintiff objects to transfer
of the action to the District of New Jersey and requests instead that the
matter be remanded to the New York State court from which it was removed
to this Court by defendant AAR Corp. ("AAR").
By letter dated April 29, 2004, AAR agreed that because the accident
here at issue occurred in New Jersey, all witnesses, airport officials
and traffic controllers, fire department personnel and other persons
associated with the events are located there. Consequently, AAR indicated
that it would not object to transfer of the case to the District of New
Jersey. AAR also objected to Plaintiff's request to amend the complaint
to join Myers as a defendant, contending that such joinder solely for the
purpose of destroying diversity would be fraudulent, particularly in view
of a prior action Plaintiff filed against Myers in state court and there
still pending arising out of the same events involved in the case at
hand. (Citing Nosonowitz v. Allegheny Beverage Corp.,
463 F. Supp. 162, 163 (S.D.N.Y. 1978), and Pampillonia v. RJR Nabisco,
Inc., 138 F.3dd 459, 461 (2d Cir. 1998)).
Having considered the parties' submissions and the issues involved, the
Court is persuaded that this case should be transferred to the District
of New Jersey in the interest of justice and maximum convenience to the
parties and witnesses and of the efficient management of this Court's
docket. See Ayala-Branch v. Tad Telecom, Inc., 197 F. Supp. 12,
15 (S.D.N.Y. 2002); Summit v. U.S. Dynamics 7000 WL 502862 at
*2 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). The Court denies Plaintiff's request to amend the
complaint, without prejudice to renewal of that motion in the transferee
For the reasons discussed above, it is hereby
ORDERED that the request of plaintiff Carolyn J. Blitz for
leave to file an amended complaint, and to remand this case to the state
court from which it was removed, is denied, without prejudice to renewal
of this request upon transfer of venue of this action as provided herein;
and it is finally
ORDERED that the Clerk of Court is directed to transfer this
case to the District of New Jersey pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a),
to close this case and remove it from the Court's database.
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