United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Matthew Benjamin Weisberg, Esq. Attorney for Plaintiffs
Holtec International and Holtec Manufacturing Division, Inc.
Smith, Esq. Attorney for Defendant Pandjiris, Inc.
K. Richards, Esq. Attorney for Defendant Arc Machines, Inc.
RENÉE MARIE BUMB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court upon its Order to Show Cause as
to why this matter should not be transferred to the United
States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania [Docket No. 17].
January 20, 2017, Plaintiffs Holtec International and Holtec
Manufacturing Division, Inc. (“Plaintiffs” or
“Holtec”) filed the instant action against
Defendants Pandjiris, Inc. (“Pandjiris”) and Arc
Machines, Inc. (“AMI” and, together with
Pandjiris, the “Defendants”) [Docket No. 1].
Subsequently, Defendants submitted pre-motion letters, in
accordance with this Court's Individual Rules and
Procedures, in which Defendants set forth their intentions to
file motions to dismiss on the basis of lack of personal
jurisdiction, improper venue, and an arbitration clause
[Docket Nos. 14, 15]. In light of Plaintiffs' allegations
and Defendants' representations in their respective
letters to the Court, on March 20, 2017, the Court gave the
parties notice and issued an Order to Show Cause, directing
the parties to address, inter alia, whether this
action should be transferred to the United States District
Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1404(a) [Docket No. 17]. The Court has reviewed
the parties' responses to the Order to Show Cause and
notes that Defendants do not oppose transfer to the Western
District of Pennsylvania [Docket Nos. 19, 20].
Plaintiffs' submission is not responsive to the question
of transfer [Docket No. 18]. For the reasons set forth
herein, the Court will transfer this action.
Holtec International and Holtec Manufacturing Division, Inc.,
New Jersey and Pennsylvania citizens respectively, brought
this action against Defendant Pandjiris, a Missouri citizen,
and Defendant AMI, a California citizen, setting forth three
counts: “Breach of Contract/Quasi-Contact/ Unjust
Enrichment/Promissory Estoppel” (Count I); Third-Party
Beneficiary (Count II); and “U.C.C.” (Count III).
June 2012, Plaintiffs purchased two welding manipulators from
Pandjiris for approximately $709, 260.00, which were to be
installed at Holtec's manufacturing facility in Turtle
Creek, Pennsylvania. Compl. ¶ 8 [Docket No. 1]. The
terms of the purchase included a warranty that the
manipulators would be free from defects for a period of 12
months or 2, 000 hours of operation. Compl. ¶ 10.
Thereafter, Pandjiris ordered the equipment through a
subcontractor, AMI. Compl. ¶ 11.
January 2013, Pandjiris shipped the manipulators to
Holtec's Turtle Creek facility, where they were
installed. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants supervised
“the installation and provided technical
assistance.” Compl. ¶ 12. According to the
Complaint, “Holtec experienced continuous problems with
the welding manipulators causing months of delays - and
severe financial cost to Holtec.” Compl. ¶ 13.
Plaintiffs claim that Defendants were unable to properly
identify or fix the problems with the equipment. Compl.
¶ 16. The Complaint alleges that AMI sent Holtec a price
quote for the repairs “because AMI contended the damage
was no longer under warranty” and that Holtec then
demanded a refund on the purchase price of the manipulators.
Compl. ¶¶ 18-19. After failed discussions with
Defendants, Plaintiffs filed the instant action seeking to
recover for damages allegedly caused by Defendants'
failure to refund and/or repair the manipulators,
“including the purchase price of about $709, 260.00 for
the manipulators which never operated properly,
approximately $120, 000 in labor expenses, loss of
production, and about $780, 000 to replace the faulty
equipment.” Compl. ¶ 24 (emphasis in original).
1404(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that:
“For 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.” The parties do not appear to genuinely
dispute that this action could have been filed in the Western
District of Pennsylvania, where the operative facts
underlying the claims occurred, where the equipment in
question is located, where the contracts at issue were
performed, and where Plaintiffs have a manufacturing
the proposed alternative forum is appropriate, ” as it
is here, “it is then within the Court's discretion
to transfer the action.” Taylor v. Global Credit
& Collection Corp., 2010 WL 2521758, at *1 (D.N.J.
June 14, 2010) (citing Jumara v. State Farm Ins.
Co., 55 F.3d 873, 883 (3d Cir. 1995)). Indeed,
“Section 1404(a) is intended to place discretion in the
district court to adjudicate motions for transfer according
to an ‘individualized, case-by-case consideration of
convenience and fairness.'” Stewart Org., Inc.
v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988) (quoting Van
Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 622 (1964)). “A
determination that transfer to another jurisdiction is
appropriate represents an ‘exercise . . . of structured
discretion by trial judges appraising the practical
inconveniences posed to the litigants and the court should a
particular action be litigated in one forum rather than
another.'” Lawrence v. Xerox Corp., 56
F.Supp.2d 442, 450 (D.N.J. 1999) (quoting Ricoh Co. v.
Honeywell, Inc., 817 F.Supp. 473, 479 (D.N.J. 1993)
(quoting Liny v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co.,
886 F.2d 628, 632 (3d Cir. 1989))). Thus, the district court
“is vested with a large discretion” to determine
when transfer should be ordered “for the convenience of
parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, ”
pursuant to Section 1404(a). Solomon v. Continental Am.
Life Ins. Co., 472 F.2d 1043, 1045 (3d Cir. 1973).
deciding whether to transfer an action under Section 1404(a),
courts in the Third Circuit consider both private and public
interests, as delineated in Jumara v. StateFarm
Insurance, 55 F.3d 873, ...