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TekVisions, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 13, 2017

TEKVISIONS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
THE HARTFORD CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant The Hartford Casualty Insurance Company's (“Hartford”) Motion to Transfer Case Venue (Dkt. # 14) and Motion to Stay Discovery (Dkt. # 26). Having reviewed the submissions of the parties, the relevant portions of the record, and the applicable law, the Court concludes that oral argument is unnecessary. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Hartford's motion to transfer and DENIES as moot Hartford's motion to stay.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The Court describes the facts as Plaintiff TekVisions, Inc. (“TekVisions”) alleges them in its complaint, expressing no position on whether these allegations will prove true. Dkt. # 1-1 (Complaint).

         TekVisions is a company that sells computer services. In 2011, TekVisions purchased a general liability insurance policy from Hartford. The policy included coverage for “business liability” and “advertising injury.” In September 2015, Microsoft, Inc. filed an action against TekVisions for violations of its intellectual property rights and other wrongful business practices. In January 2016, TekVisions tendered its defense to Hartford, yet Hartford failed to reasonably respond despite repeated requests and follow-up communications. In August 2016, without having received a coverage decision from Hartford, TekVisions settled the lawsuit with Microsoft. In September 2016, Hartford denied TekVisions' insurance claim.

         On December 20, 2016, TekVisions filed the instant action against Hartford alleging claims for: (1) violation of the Insurance Fair Conduct Act, RCW 48.30.015, et seq.; (2) violation of the Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86.020, et seq.; (3) breach of contract; (4) insurance bad faith; and (5) equitable estoppel.

         Now, Hartford moves to transfer venue to the Central District of California and to stay discovery pending the Court's decision on the motion to transfer. Dkt. ## 14, 26. TekVisions opposes the motions. Dkt. ## 18, 31.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         “For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). “Section 1404(a) is intended to place discretion in the district court to adjudicate motions for transfer according to an ‘individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness.'” Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988) (quoting Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 622 (1964)). Applying this case-specific approach requires the Court to balance a series of factors. Id. These factors include:

(1) the location where the relevant agreements were negotiated and executed, (2) the state that is most familiar with the governing law, (3) the plaintiff's choice of forum, (4) the respective parties' contacts with the forum, (5) the contacts relating to the plaintiff's cause of action in the chosen forum, (6) the differences in the costs of litigation in the two forums, (7) the availability of compulsory process to compel attendance of unwilling non-party witnesses, and (8) the ease of access to sources of proof.

Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498-99 (9th Cir. 2000). Additionally, “the relevant public policy of the forum state, if any, is at least as significant a factor in the § 1404(a) balancing.” Id. at 499. “The defendant must make a strong showing of inconvenience to warrant upsetting the plaintiff's choice of forum.” Decker Coal Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 805 F.2d 834, 843 (9th Cir. 1986).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         A. Location Where the Insurance ...


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