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Gonzalez-Servin v. Ford Motor Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

April 25, 2014

MONICA DEL CARMEN GONZALEZ-SERVIN, GUERRO GONZALEZ, Plaintiffs,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, FIRESTONE POLYMERS INC, BRIDGESTONE FIRESTONE NORTH AMERICAN TIRE LLC, Defendants.

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REINSTATE (DKT. 54)

SARAH EVANS BARKER, District Judge.

This case arose out of a tragic roll-over accident in Mexico involving residents of Mexico. It was originally filed in the District of South Dakota and then transferred to the MDL proceeding pending in this court.

This court dismissed the case on forum non conveniens grounds on April 19, 2010. Dismissal was without prejudice and subject to Defendants' assent to submit to the jurisdiction of the Mexican courts. In granting the motion to dismiss, this court found, among other things, that Mexico is an available forum for Plaintiffs, based on Defendants' stipulation to jurisdiction and, independently, on the "territorial competence" of the courts of Mexico. See Dkt. 9, pp. 5-7. Plaintiffs filed a motion to reconsider the dismissal, which was denied on February 24, 2011, after which an appeal was taken to the Seventh Circuit, which on December 23, 2011, affirmed this court.

On December 5, 2013, Plaintiffs filed the current motion, asserting under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60 that justice requires reinstatement of the case on our docket because the Mexican court in which Plaintiffs filed the case sometime around February 2013[1] had dismissed it. In short (and it is short because Plaintiffs have provided a mere three sentences of explanation), Plaintiffs maintain that this court's forum non conveniens determination rests on its finding that Mexico is an available forum and that the Mexican court's dismissal demonstrates that our ruling was erroneous.

Reinstatement is denied, for two primary reasons. First, the motion is not timely. Second, Plaintiffs have provided no evidence that the Mexican court found that it lacked jurisdiction or territorial competence over the case.

A. The motion to reinstate has not been timely filed.

Plaintiffs' request for relief is grounded in Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). Rule 60(b) provides:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it ...

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