Section 1404(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that
"[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of
justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other
district or division where it might have been brought."
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Because the plaintiffs concede that this action
could have been brought in Massachusetts, see Plaintiffs' Opposition to
Defendants' Motion to Transfer Venue ("Pls.' Opp'n") at 2, this Court
must focus on certain private and public-interest factors in order to
determine the proper forum for the litigation of this case. See Liban v.
Churchey Group II. L.L.C., No. Civ. A. 03-242, 2004 WL 360285 at *4
(D.D.C. Feb. 26, 2004) (Urbina, J.) (citing Van Dusen v. Barrack.
376 U.S. 612
, 613 (1964): Trout Unlimited v. Dep't of Agric.,
944 F. Supp. 13, 16 (D.D.C. 1996)). In McClamrock v. Eli Lilly & Co.,
267 F. Supp.2d 33 (D.D.C. 2003) (Walton, J.), this Court reiterated that
[t]he private considerations that may be considered
include: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum, unless
the balance of convenience is strongly in favor of the
defendants; (2) the defendants' choice of forum; (3)
whether the claim arose elsewhere; (4) the convenience
of the parties; (5) the convenience of the witnesses of the plaintiff and defendant, but
only to the extent that the witnesses may actually
be unavailable for trial in one of the for a; and
(6) the ease of access to sources of proof.
Id. at 37 (quoting Trout Unlimited v. United States Dep't of Agric.,
944 F. Supp. 13, 16 (D.D.C. 1996) (citations omitted)). The Court's first
consideration, and perhaps the most contentious, is the degree of
deference that should be given to the plaintiffs' choice of forum. While
the defendants recognize that "ordinarily `the plaintiffs choice of forum
is given substantial deference,'" Def.'s Mem. at 4 (quoting McClamrock,
267 F. Supp.2d at 36), they assert that in this case, because it has been
brought as a class action lawsuit, the "plaintiff's home forum is
irrelevant." Id. (quoting Georgouses v. NaTec Res., Inc., 963 F. Supp. 728,
730 (N.D. 111. 1997)). While this Court is not prepared to conclude that
this first consideration is irrelevant in a case of this nature,
certainly in a class action suit in which the plaintiffs propose to
represent a class of potential plaintiffs who reside throughout the
country, the plaintiffs' choice of forum deserves less weight than it is
typically given. See Williams v. Sears Roebuck & Co., No. C97-3794, 1998
WL 61307 at *1 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 1998) (stating that "[t]here is little
deference given to choice of forums by plaintiff'[s] representing a
nationwide class.") (citing Blake Const. Co., Inc. v. Int'l Harvester
Co., 521 F. Supp. 1268
, 1271-72 (N.D. 111. 1981)); Steiner v. Hercules.
Inc., 1990 WL 97811, Civ. A. No. 90-1247, at *2 (E.D. Pa. July 9, 1990)
(stating that "courts typically give plaintiffs' choice of forum less
weight in class action cases.") (citation omitted); Supco v. Automotive
Parts. Inc. v. Triangle Auto Spring Co., 538 F. Supp. 1187, 1191 (E.D.
Pa. 1982) (stating that when "the plaintiff seeks to represent a class of
many potential plaintiffs scattered across the country, plaintiff's
choice of forum deserves less weight.") (citations omitted).