Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Japan Is Appropriate Forum for Tort Suit

Per U.S. Law Week, 77 U.S.L.W. 1320 (Nov. 25, 2008):

A district court properly dismissed, on forum non conveniens grounds, a U.S. company's suit alleging conversion against Japanese entities, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held Oct. 28. Although the plaintiff is incorporated in Delaware, it is the wholly owned subsidiary of a Japanese company, and its headquarters are in Japan, the court pointed out. Most of the alleged misdeeds were done in Japan as well, and almost all the relevant witnesses and documents are there, it added. Noting that the defendant bank has initiated a “mirror-image declaratory judgment suit in Japanese court,” the court found “no reason for identical suits to be proceeding in different courts in different countries thousands of miles apart.” Although acknowledging the presumption in favor of a plaintiff's forum choice, the court rejected the plaintiff's procedural and public interest arguments in favor of a U.S. forum. U.S.O. Corp. v. Mizuho Holding Co., 7th Cir., No. 07-3588, 10/28/08


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