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Dodd v. Cabela's, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division

November 26, 2014

DYLAN DODD, Plaintiff,
v.
CABELA'S, INC., CABELA'S WHOLESALE, INC. and TLD INDUSTRIES, LLC, Defendants.

ORDER

DANA L. CHRISTENSEN, Chief District Judge.

Defendants Cabela's Inc., Cabela's Wholesale, Inc., and TLD Industries, LLC jointly move to transfer this case to the Northern Division of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. Plaintiff Dylan Dodd opposes the motion. For the reasons stated below, the Court denies the motion.

Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed this negligence and strict products liability action against Defendants on June 10, 2014. The product at issue in this action is "Rimfire Exploding Targets" ("the product"). Defendant TLD advertises, sells, and distributes the product. Defendant Cabela's Wholesale, Inc. sells the product at its retail stores, including its stores in Montana and Post Falls, Idaho.

Plaintiff is a resident of Hayden Lake, Idaho. Factually, Plaintiff alleges that on December 22, 2012, Karalynn Dodd and Amanda Lewis, both eighteen, purchased the product from a Cabela's store in Post Falls, Idaho and later gave the product to Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that the Cabela's employee negligently sold the product to Karalynn Dodd and Amanda Lewis because the employee did not verify the girls' ages. Plaintiff further alleges that on December 28, 2012, he and four companions used the product at a firing range in Hayden, Idaho and that he was injured when the product detonated after he poured it on a fire requiring emergency medical care and surgery in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. As a legal theory, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to adequately warn about the dangers associated with the product.

Defendants filed a motion requesting transfer under Title 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) on July 8, 2014, asserting that the action is appropriately venued in the Northern Division of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho.

Discussion

The Court may transfer a civil case to a district where it could have been brought "[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, [and] in the interest of justice." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). It is undisputed that this action could have been brought in the District of Idaho. The question is whether this action should be transferred based on an assessment of the relevant factors. This involves a fact specific inquiry. Anderson v. Thompson, 634 F.Supp. 1201, 1204 (D. Mont. 1986)

Title 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) directs courts to analyze the convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interests of justice when deciding whether to transfer an action. Of these factors, the convenience of the parties and witnesses are generally "subordinate to the interests of justice." Anderson, 634 F.Supp. at 1204. Beyond the three factors specified in the statute, courts have looked to several other factors, including:

1. the plaintiff's choice of forum,
2. the ability of the two forums to compel non-party witnesses to testify,
3. the respective parties' relative contacts with the forums,
4. the court's familiarity with the ...

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