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Foster v. Marriott Resort Hospitality Corp.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 10, 2018

CHERI A. FOSTER, Plaintiff
v.
MARRIOTT RESORT HOSPITALITY CORPORATION, GRANDE VISTA OF ORLANDO CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., MARRIOTT VACATIONS WORLDWIDE CORPORATION, MARRIOTT VACATION CLUB INTERNATIONAL, Defendants.

          RICHARD GRUNCO, JR., GRUNCO COLARULO, On behalf of Plaintiff.

          CATHLEEN KELLY REBAR, JEANNIE PARK LEE, REBAR BERNSTIEL, On behalf of Defendants.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Presently before the Court is Defendants' motion to transfer the venue of Plaintiff's case to Florida. For the reasons expressed below, Defendants' motion will be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, Cheri Foster, sustained injuries from a slip and fall on March 24, 2016, at the Marriott Grande Vista, a hotel owned by Defendant Marriott Resort Hospitality Corporation and located at 5925 Avenida Vista, Orlando, Florida. As a result of the fall, Plaintiff suffered comminuted fractures of the right tibia and fibula.[1] These injuries required open reduction surgery resulting in external fixation of the fractures with a rod, a plate, and screws. Plaintiff claims that dangerous conditions on the walkway of the hotel caused her fall.

         Plaintiff commenced this action on December 11, 2017, in this Court.[2] Defendant Marriott seeks to transfer venue to the United State District Court for the Middle District of Florida pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Plaintiff opposes Defendant's motion.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard for Jurisdiction

         Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint states that this Court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because Plaintiff's claims are in excess of $75, 000 and complete diversity of citizenship exists between the parties. Plaintiff is a citizen of New Jersey, and Defendant is a South Carolina corporation with its principal place of business in Florida.

         B. Standard for Motion to Transfer Venue

         Section 1404(a) states 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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Analysis of whether a transfer is appropriate under § 1404(a) is flexible, and based on the unique facts of the case. Ricoh Co. v. Honeywell, Inc., 817 F.Supp. 473, 479 (D.N.J. 1993).

         The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has provided interest factors, both public and private, for a court to consider when undertaking analysis of whether to transfer under § 1404(a). Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 879 (3d Cir. 1995). The private interest factors are: (1) the plaintiff's forum preference; (2) the defendant's forum preference; (3) where the claim arose; (4) the convenience of the parties; (5) the convenience of the witnesses; and (6) the location of books and records. Id.

         The public interest factors are: (1) the enforceability of the judgment; (2) practical considerations that could make the trial easy, expeditious, or inexpensive; (3) the relative administrative difficulty from court congestion; (4) local interest in deciding local controversies at home; (5) public policies of the fora; and (6) the ...


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