United States District Court, D. Connecticut
BEVERLY KAYE GRAHAM ORR, Executrix of the Estate of Robin Orr and individually, Plaintiff,
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY and PFIZER INC., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
W. EGINTON, Senior District Judge.
Beverly Kay Graham Orr brings this wrongful death action on
behalf of herself and the estate of her husband, Robin Orr,
against the defendants, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and
Pfizer, Inc. Defendants have moved to transfer the action to
the Northern District of Texas pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a). For the following reasons, the motion to transfer
will be granted.
following factual background is culled from the pleadings and
the briefs relevant to the motion to transfer.
and the decedent resided in Texas. Defendants Bristol-Meyers
Squibb and Pfizer are each incorporated under the laws of
Delaware and have their principal of business in New York.
decedent Orr died in Texas on September 1, 2013, after
hemorrhaging following coronary artery bypass surgery.
Plaintiff alleges that his death was the result of taking
Eliquis, a blood thinner that is jointly developed and
marketed by defendants to prevent strokes in patients with
atrial fibrillation; and that defendants failed to warn
physicians that Eliquis could cause bleeding.
argue that transfer to the Northern District of Texas is
appropriate pursuant to Section 1404(a), which authorizes
transfer to another district where venue is also proper. The
purpose of Section 1404(a) is to have federal civil suits
tried in the district most suitable in terms of convenience,
efficiency and justice. See Van Dusen v. Barrack,
376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964). Defendants argue, and plaintiff
does not counter, that they would be amenable to jurisdiction
in the Northern District of Texas. Accordingly, the Court
finds that this action could have been brought in the
Northern District of Texas.
the Court gives deference to a strong presumption in favor of
a plaintiff's choice of forum, which presumption may be
overcome only by clear and convincing evidence that private
and public interest factors favor trial in the alternative
forum. Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235
(1981). Additionally, plaintiff's choice of forum may be
entitled to less weight where the operative facts are not
connected to the choice of forum or where plaintiff chooses a
forum other than his or her residence. Gokhberg v. Pnc
Financial Svcs. Group, Inc., 2015 WL 9302837, *2 (S.D.N.Y.).
Here, the Court does not require that plaintiffs' choice
of forum be outweighed by clear and convincing evidence;
rather plaintiffs' choice of forum must be outweighed by
a preponderance of the evidence.
Court must balance the following relevant factors, including
(1) locus of operative facts; (2) access to evidence; (3)
convenience of witnesses; (4) availability of compulsory
process to compel witness testimony; (5) convenience of the
parties; (6) familiarity of the forum with governing law; (7)
trial efficiency; (8) the relative financial means of the
parties; and a catchall factor (9), interests of justice. The
Court considers these factors in the relative order of
Locus of Operative Facts
determine the locus of operative facts, courts look to where
the conduct giving rise to the claim occurred. Costello
v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 888 F.Supp.2d 258, 268 (D.
Conn. 2012). Plaintiff maintains that defendants operate
facilities in Connecticut and the facts concerning
defendants' knowledge and concealment of the drug's
defect may have occurred in Connecticut. Plaintiff seeks to
postpone consideration of the transfer pending a
determination of the extent of defendants' operations in
Connecticut. The Court declines to do so because the facts
alleged in the complaint indicate that a significant portion
of the operative facts occurred in Texas. Here, decedent is
alleged to have lived and died in Texas. Thus, facts
concerning decedent's medical treatment, his prescription
for Eliquis, and the circumstances of his death all occurred
in Texas. Accordingly, the locus of operative facts weighs in
favor of the forum in the Northern District of Texas.
Location of Relevant Documents
the fact that the alleged wrongful death caused by the
defective Eliquis occurred in Texas, a large portion of
documents concerning decedent's medical treatment will be
found in Texas. Discovery will facilitate plaintiff's
access to documents related to defendants' production of
Eliquis and the alleged concealment of ...