United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
STEPHEN PENROSE, JAMES THOMAS, JOSEPH GUARDINO, and DANIEL POPE, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY, INC., OLD CHARTER DISTILLERY CO. and SAZERAC COMPANY, INC., Defendants.
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Transfer Venue to the Western District of Kentucky, [Doc. No.
17]. Plaintiffs oppose the Motion. For the reasons set forth
below, the Motion is denied.
filed this putative class action based on alleged violations
of various state consumer protection laws. The Court's
jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(d). Defendants seek to transfer venue to the
Western District of Kentucky pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a). Because Plaintiffs' choice of venue is entitled
to considerable deference, and Defendants have not met their
burden of showing the convenience of the parties and
witnesses and the interest of justice strongly favor transfer
to the Western District of Kentucky, the Court will deny the
claim in this putative nationwide class action Defendants
misrepresented that Old Charter bourbon has been aged 8 years
through implication because the number 8 remains on its
bottles. Previously, the bottles stated that the bourbon had
been aged 8 years. The current bottles no longer state that
the bourbon is “aged” 8 “years, ”
rather, the bottles just contains the number 8 in the same
location as the old bottles.
claim they were misled to believe that because the number 8
was still on the bottles, the bourbon continued to be aged 8
years. They claim Defendants purposely left the number 8 in
the same location on the bottles to lead consumers to believe
the bourbon had been aged 8 years when in fact, the bourbon
is no longer aged for 8 years.
motion to transfer venue is governed by 28 U.S.C. §
1404(a), which provides that “a district court may
transfer any civil action to any other district or division
where it might have been brought “[f]or the convenience
of parties and witnesses, [and] in the interests of
justice.” The purpose of section 1404(a) is to
“prevent the waste of time, energy and money and to
protect litigants, witnesses and the public against
unnecessary inconvenience and expense.” Van Dusen
v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964).
deciding a motion to transfer under section 1404(a), the
Court considers three factors: (1) the convenience of the
parties; (2) the convenience of the witnesses; and (3) the
interest of justice. Terra Int'l, Inc. v. Miss. Chem.
Corp., 119 F.3d 688, 691 (8th Cir. 1997). These factors
merit “individualized, case-by-case consideration,
” in which courts “weigh in the balance a number
of case-specific factors.” Stewart Org., Inc. v.
Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988). To prevail, the
moving party must demonstrate the balance of the factors
“strongly favors” transfer. See, e.g.,
Burks v. Abbott Labs., No. 08-3414, 2008 WL 4838720,
at *1 (D. Minn. Nov. 5, 2008) (quoting Brockman v. Sun
Valley Resorts, Inc., 923 F.Supp. 1176, 1179 (D. Minn.
1996)). “The Eighth Circuit has declined to offer an
‘exhaustive list of specific factors to consider'
in making the transfer decision and has directed the courts
to weigh any ‘case-specific factors' relevant to
convenience and fairness to determine whether transfer is
warranted. In re Apple, Inc., 602 F.3d 909, 912 (8th
Cir. 2010) (internal citation omitted). The party requesting
transfer has the burden to show that the balance of these
factors favors it. Dube v. Wyeth LLC, 943 F.Supp.2d
1004, 1007 (E.D. Mo. 2013) (citing Moretti v. Wyeth,
No. 07-CV-3920 DWF-SRN, 2008 WL 732497 at *1 (D. Minn. March
17, 2008)).” Christenson v. Citimorgage, Inc.,
No. 4:16-CV-1142 (CEJ), 2016 WL 7230432, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Dec.
the decision to transfer a case is committed to the
discretion of the district court.” Luckey v.
Alside, Inc., No. 15-2512, 2016 WL 1559569, at *4 (D.
Minn. Apr. 18, 2016) (quoting Jacques v. Dakota, Minn.
& E. R.R. Corp., No. 07-248, 2008 WL 835651, at *1
(D. Minn. Mar. 27, 2008)).
the parties agree Plaintiffs could have brought this action
in the Western District of Kentucky. The motion, thus, turns
on whether Defendants have met their burden of showing the
balance of the section 1404(a) factors strongly favor
to Transfer Venue