Fennell v. Illinois Central Railroad Company

Illinois Supreme Court
Civil Court
Forum Non Conveniens
Case Number: 
2012 IL 113812
Decision Date: 
Friday, December 28, 2012
5th Dist.
St. Clair Co.
Appellate court and circuit court reversed; remanded.
Plaintiff, a Mississippi resident, and 80 additional named plaintiffs, filed FELA action in 2002 in circuit court of Jefferson County, Mississippi, for personal injuries sustained from asbestos exposure while employed by Defendant railroads. Plaintiff filed suit in 2009 in St. Clair County, alleging negligence under FELA and a violation of Locomotive Inspection Act. The weight of private interest factors and public interest factors greatly favors Mississppi, and thus court erred in denying Defendants' motion to dismiss on ground of forum non conveniens. Deference to Plaintiff's choice of Illinois forum is significantly lessened as Illinois was Plaintiff's second choice of forum, Plaintiff does not reside in Illinois and action did not arise in Illinois. (GARMAN, KARMEIER, BURKE, and THEIS, concurring; KILBRIDE, dissenting.)