Defense: Transfer Tennessee injury to Tennessee court

Steve Korris Feb. 19, 2009, 5:53am


EAST ST. LOUIS – Georgia trailer maker Cottrell Inc. wants to transfer a Tennessee mechanic's lawsuit over a Tennessee injury from Illinois to Tennessee.

Amy Lorenz-Moser of Bryan Cave in St. Louis filed a transfer motion at federal court in East St. Louis on Feb. 17, in a suit that John Sheffer filed last year.

"Plaintiff is a resident of Tennessee, the accident occurred at Mr. Sheffer's place of employment in Smyrna, Tennessee, and the alleged injuries occurred in Tennessee," she wrote.

Chief Judge David Herndon can now choose from three options.

He can transfer the suit to federal court in Tennessee, remand the case to Madison County where Sheffer filed it last November, or keep it in his court.

Sheffer, a Cassens Transport mechanic, claims he injured his head, neck and shoulders while trying to release a wheel from a Cottrell rig in Smyrna, Tenn.

He sued Cottrell, truck maker Navistar, Fontaine Fifth Wheel Company, Edwardsville auto dealer Cassens and Sons, and other Cassens businesses and family members.

Lorenz-Moser argued in her motion that U.S. District Judge Patrick Murphy transferred a similar case to Tennessee in 2006.

Both cases involved Cassens Transport employees who were allegedly injured at their place of employment in Smyrna, Tenn., she wrote.

"Since all of the events giving rise to this suit occurred in the Middle District of Tennessee, the key witnesses will be found in and around the Middle District of Tennessee," she wrote.

"It would be burdensome, excessively expensive, and inconvenient for the parties to transport and secure these witnesses for trial in the Southern District of Illinois," she wrote.

"Judge Murphy focused on the fact that Tennessee substantive law applied to the case and that it makes more sense for a Tennessee court to apply Tennessee law," she wrote.

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Bryan Cave
1 Metropolitan Square
St. Louis, MO 63102

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