United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
Location Where the Insurance ...