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Magistrate Judge Burke denies motion to transfer to Middle District of North Carolina

In Integra Lifesciences Corp., et al. v. Hyperbranch Medical Technology, Inc., C.A. No. 15-819-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Apr. 20, 2016) (public version released May 4, 2016), Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke denied Defendant’s motion to transfer to the Middle District of North Carolina, even where the Court concluded that many Jumara factors favored transfer and few affirmatively disfavored it. Plaintiffs were Delaware companies with principle places of business in New Jersey and Massachusetts, and Defendant was also a Delaware company with its headquarters, and all of its thirteen employees, in or around North Carolina.

In evaluating the Jumara factors, the Court concluded that most of the private interest factors did weigh in favor of transfer (some squarely, such as Defendant’s forum preference, and some minimally, such as convenience of the parties), that all public interest factors were neutral, and “acknowledge[d] that [Defendant] has pointed to a number of connections between the Middle District of North Carolina and the facts or people involved in this case. . . . And yet a close examination of at least some of those factors indicates that they may not actually have much of a practical impact here.” Id. at 21. Additionally, the Court distinguished cases cited by Defendant where transfer was granted as being situations where, inter alia, the plaintiffs were not incorporated in Delaware. Id. at 22. The Court summarized its findings as follows:

[i]n the end, the Court is prepared to say that the balance of convenience is in favor of [Defendant]. But the Court cannot conclude that this balance “is strongly in favor of” [Defendant]. . . . Even a quick read of the Complaint renders it understandable why this case was brought in Delaware. If Plaintiffs did not wish to file the suit in the district where [Defendant] has its headquarters, they would almost certainly choose the District where all five parties to the litigation are incorporated or formed – a District that is a neighbor to New Jersey, where the principle places of business of three of the four Plaintiffs can be found. In light of the entire record, the Court finds that denial of [Defendant’s] Motion is warranted.

Id. at 23 (emphasis in original).

Integra Lifesciences Corp., et al. v. Hyperbranch Medical Technology, Inc., C.A. No. 15-819-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Apr. 20, 2016) (public version released May 4, 2016)

 

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