Massachusetts Court Discusses Grounds for Changing the Forum of a Case

The right of a plaintiff to choose the venue in which to bring a personal injury case is well-established under the law. As a result, the ultimate issues of the case are normally decided by the court in the jurisdiction where the plaintiff files the lawsuit. However, in some cases, a defendant may argue that the case should be heard in a different venue and would petition the court to dismiss the case. A Massachusetts court recently reviewed the grounds for dismissing a case based on forum non conveniens in a personal injury case in which the plaintiff was injured in Greece. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to see what steps you can take to obtain compensation for your losses.

Historical Facts

According to reports, the plaintiff was injured while on vacation in Greece with her husband when the boat she was riding in was struck by a boat owned by the defendant, necessitating significant treatment in Greece and the United States. The Greek Port Authority undertook an inquiry after the disaster, which included acquiring thirteen witness accounts. The plaintiff then filed a personal injury action in Massachusetts district court against the defendant, who was a Massachusetts resident. On the grounds of forum non conveniens, the defendant filed a request to dismiss.

Dismissing a Case Due to Inconvenient Forum

The law stipulates that a plaintiff’s choice of forum should be respected only in exceptional circumstances. As a result, a defendant asserting forum non conveniens must show that a sufficient alternative forum exists and that judicial efficiency and convenience weigh heavily in favor of litigating the issue in a different forum. An adequate alternative forum exists, according to the court, if the defendant can show that the other forum meets the plaintiff’s claims and that the defendant is willing to be served in that forum.

Although the parties in the subject matter did not dispute that Greek courts dealt with concerns similar to those stated in the subject case, the plaintiff maintained that Greece was an insufficient forum. However, the court concluded that a forum is only insufficient if it is fundamentally unjust. The plaintiff stated that in Greece, her damages would be limited. While the court acknowledged this, the cap nevertheless allowed for a significant recovery. As a result, the Greek courts did not provide a possibly unjust remedy, according to the court. Furthermore, the court determined that the fact that the plaintiff’s claims would not be heard by a jury was insufficient evidence that her claims could not be adjudicated properly. Furthermore, the court determined that both private and public interest factors supported the case being heard in Greece. As a result, the defendant’s request to dismiss was granted.

Consult with a Skilled Cape Cod Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation and should see an attorney about your options. The skilled personal injury lawyers of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, are adept at proving liability in personal injury matters, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 888-262-6664 to set up a conference.




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