by the First Circuit as adopting the manifestation theory.
3. Further proceedings arising out of the District of Massachusetts case involving counterclaims and cross-claims relating to the exhaustion of primary coverage are still pending in the District of Massachusetts.
4. Some of the defendants in the Massachusetts action are also defendants in the case before this Court.
5. The District of Massachusetts is the only District where all of Eagle-Picher's insurers can be reached to achieve identical interpretation of the coverage provisions. First State and Lexington, which were originally dismissed by Eagle-Picher in this case because it was unable to serve them in the District of Columbia and which it now seeks to bring in again, are available for suit in Massachusetts. Other insurers who are citizens of Massachusetts are not named in either case at the present time.
6. In deciding whether to grant defendants' preclusion motions, this Court must apply the preclusion law of the forum of the precluding decision.
7. The issues presented in the Massachusetts action are in many respects identical to the issues tendered in the District of Columbia. The Massachusetts District Court is thoroughly familiar with the facts and legal issues in this case. It also is best situated to evaluate the scope and meaning of the decisions already reached in the First Circuit, the very issue tendered to this Court by the preclusion motions. For example, the Massachusetts Court can best determine if Eagle-Picher enjoyed a full and fair opportunity to litigate its views in the Massachusetts action.
8. All defendants before this Court have agreed to be bound by the decision of the First Circuit regarding the Eagle-Picher coverage unless that decision is reversed by the Supreme Court. For this Court to reach a different interpretation of related coverage would create the need for still further protracted litigation.
9. Two different District Courts are being asked by Eagle-Picher to adjudicate closely related claims. An appendix submitted to this Court indicates that the Massachusetts District Court has developed eleven volumes of record on these issues in a controversy extending over several years.
10. Neither Eagle-Picher nor any of the defendants have any particular connection to the District of Columbia. None of these concerns have their principal office here. There is no indication that the insurance contracts were executed here.
11. Eagle-Picher initially chose the District of Massachusetts as the most convenient forum for it to litigate its insurance coverage claim and the District of Massachusetts is equally convenient to it.
12. Resolution of the controversy will be delayed if Eagle-Picher is allowed to proceed simultaneously in two or more circuits and the prospects of inconsistent judgments increased. The District of Massachusetts is in the best position to expedite the entire matter.
Clearly the interests of justice demand that this case be transferred to the District of Massachusetts in order to obtain as promptly as possible a single coherent, consistent judgment covering all insurers of Eagle-Picher's asbestos risks to the end that the rights of the plaintiffs who are suing Eagle-Picher and, in turn, Eagle-Picher's claims against its insurers can be decisively resolved. Public policy favors this result. The District of Columbia and the District of Massachusetts are equally convenient for Eagle-Picher.
The Court takes note of the fact that thousands and thousands of asbestos claims involving Eagle-Picher and other manufacturers are accumulating in federal and state courts throughout the land. Dockets are jammed and individual plaintiffs frustrated. No multi-district approach has been adopted. In those circumstances, the interests of justice require that the courts exercise their authority insofar as it exists to facilitate rather than to confuse the disposition of those claims. As far as the Eagle-Picher segment of this burgeoning litigation burden is concerned, the District of Massachusetts is without question best qualified to achieve this result. That Court has already invested substantial time in the facts and issues of this case and it is against the interests of judicial economy for this Court to do the same.
Given the considerations which the Court has indicated, plus Eagle-Picher's initial choice of the District of Massachusetts as the proper venue to proceed in search of declaratory relief, its forum shopping for the sole purpose of attaching itself to a favorable inconsistent decision at a location where it has no significant interest whatsoever must be rejected. A consistent and prompt overall interpretation of Eagle-Picher's insurance coverage can only be reached in the First Circuit.
Accordingly, the Court has determined in its discretion that this matter shall be transferred to the District of Massachusetts in the interests of justice and with due regard for the convenience of the parties pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). An appropriate Order is filed herewith.
For the reasons stated in the Court's Memorandum filed herewith, the Court has determined in its discretion that this matter should be transferred to the District of Massachusetts in the interests of justice and with due regard for the convenience of the parties. It is therefore
ORDERED that the Court sua sponte transfers this case to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§ 1404(a).