U.S. District Judge David Herndon transferred to New York City a suit from attorney John Driscoll of St. Louis, claiming global banks financed terror attacks.
In an April 12 order he found that among more than 100 plaintiffs, none was located in the Southern District of Illinois.
He found that six of seven defendants maintain principal U.S. offices in New York.
“Here, none of the alleged relevant conduct occurred in the Southern District of Illinois,” Herndon wrote.
“The court finds that it is reasonable to look to where decisions were made and to where the decision makers may be found.”
Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank and affiliates, Barclays Bank, Standard Charter Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Commerzbank and Credit Suisse sought the transfer.
Herndon found that Driscoll’s suit related to a case pending in the Eastern District of New York, Freeman v. HSBC Holdings.
“With the exception of Deutsche Bank, which is not a named defendant in Freeman, both this case and Freeman contain almost the same defendants and the same allegations,” he wrote.
Herndon wrote that the complaint contained references to New York’s long arm statute.
“Clearly, defendants are litigating a nearly identical suit in the Eastern District of New York and this heavily weighs in favor of transfer,” he wrote.
Driscoll had argued that the suit related to another in the Southern District, Shaffer v. Deutsche Bank, pending before Chief District Judge Michael Reagan.
Herndon found Driscoll’s suit and the Shaffer suit separate and distinct.
He wrote that no one moved to consolidate them, and that the Shaffer suit involves Southern Illinois plaintiffs.
In the Shaffer case, Deutsche Bank is the only named defendant.
Herndon wrote that it involves different attacks and victims from Freeman.
It also involves different lawyers.
New Jersey lawyers with experience in terror suits filed the Shaffer suit last May, in association with Douglas Dowd of St. Louis and Tab Turner of Little Rock, Ark.
Deutsche Bank moved to dismiss it in July, for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim.
The bank moved to stay discovery pending a decision on the motion to dismiss, and Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams granted a stay.
The motion to dismiss remained pending before Reagan as of April 13.