in Minnesota of Defendants co-conspirators, it is not clear that either the District of Columbia or Minnesota would be more convenient to parties and witnesses in this case. That Plaintiffs have not shown Minnesota to be a more convenient venue makes no difference where defendants have the burden and plaintiffs are entitled to at least some deference as to their choice of venue. Defendants have not shown that it would be more convenient to the parties or witnesses in this case to transfer.
Defendants do not elaborate on the "interests of justice" inquiry in their initial moving papers except to the extent that they unsuccessfully argue that personal jurisdiction does not lie in the District of Columbia. In their reply, however, Defendants challenge Plaintiffs' assertion that the interests of justice would not be furthered by transfer. Here, too, Defendants attempt to shift the burden to Plaintiffs. Defendants have the burden of showing that the interests of justice would be served by transfer.
As Defendants correctly note, the "interest of justice" is a separate component of a § 1404(a) analysis and that factors traditionally considered in this analysis relate to the efficient administration of the court system. See Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 220-21 (7th Cir. 1986). The Court finds that on the facts of this case, this factor does not favor transfer. This Court is extremely familiar with the facts of the case and will soon conduct a trial of the claims against Defendants as well as Defendants' alleged co-conspirators (the Mitsui Defendants) in this District. Thus, the Court fails to see why transferring the case at this stage of the litigation will serve the interests of justice. The Court acknowledges that a Minnesota court will necessarily become familiar with this litigation when it prepares for the Class Plaintiffs' claims against BioProducts and others. The Court is without power to alleviate any real or perceived duplication efforts in this instance because certain defendants properly and timely challenged personal jurisdiction and venue in this Court, while others did not.
Lastly, Defendants argue that "[s]everance may be proper where the non-transferred party is only secondarily or peripherally involved in the suit." JM Computer Services, Inc. v. Schlumberger Technologies, Inc., 886 F. Supp. 358 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). Without much explanation, Defendants seem to argue that because the Class Plaintiffs claims against the Mitsui Defendants are based on Mitsui's parent/subsidiary relationship with another alleged co-defendant BioProduct, that severance should lie as to DuCoa and DCV because there are significant differences among defendants which may prejudice them at trial in this District. The Court is not convinced. This Court has already denied the Mitsui Defendants motion to sever in the face of similar arguments by Mitsui.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will deny Defendants' Motion to Sever and Transfer to Minnesota Claims Against Defendants DuCoa L.P. and DCV, Inc. An order will accompany this Opinion.
Re: DuCoa L.P.'s and DCV, Inc.'s Motion to Sever and Transfer
It is hereby
ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Sever and Transfer to Minnesota Claims Against Defendants DuCoa L.P. and DCV, Inc. is DENIED.