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JET Co, Inc v. Thor Industries, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana

April 25, 2016

JET CO., INC., Plaintiff,
v.
THOR INDUSTRIES, INC. and POSTLE OPERATING, L.L.C., d/b/a POSTLE ALUMINUM CO., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANT POSTLE OPERATING, L.L.C.’S MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE

MARK W. BENNETT U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ............................................................. 2

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS ................................................................................................. 4

A. Standards For Motions To Transfer ............................................................ 4

B. Applicability Of Forum Selection Clause .................................................... 7

C. Effect Of Forum Selection Clause ............................................................. 10

III. CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 11

Before the parties get to the merits of the dispute at issue in this case, I must decide whether the Hawkeye State or the Hoosier State is the appropriate forum for this dispute. Although plaintiff Jet Co., Inc. (“Jet”), an Iowa corporation, filed this case in the Northern District of Iowa, defendant Postle Operating, L.L.C., d/b/a Postle Aluminum Co. (“Postle”), a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Elkhart, Indiana, contends that forum selection clauses in two of the parties’ agreements require me to transfer it to the Northern District of Indiana in South Bend, Indiana.

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

On December 31, 2015, Jet filed a petition in the Iowa District Court for Humboldt County naming Postle and Thor Industries, Inc. (“Thor”) as defendants. On January 20, 2016, defendants filed a notice of removal to this court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction.

Jet alleges that it is an Iowa corporation with its principal place of business in Humboldt, Iowa. It contends that Postle is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Elkhart, Indiana, and Thor is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Elkhart, Indiana. Jet alleges that Thor acquired Postle on May 1, 2015.

Jet manufacturers and sells aluminum grain trailers. Jet’s claims against Postle and Thor arise from Jet’s purchase of aluminum rails known as 6061-T6 aluminum extrusion 2x5 top tubes from Postle (“Postle aluminum tubes”). Jet alleges that it purchased Postle aluminum tubes from 2006 through 2014 and incorporated them into certain aluminum grain trailers. Jet purchased the Postle aluminum tubes on credit pursuant to two credit agreements, one dated ...


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