Espinoza v. Evergreen Helicopters, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-08-2014
  • Case #: A147028
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Nakamoto, J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The inconvenient forum doctrine is available in Oregon and should be applied by weighing private and public interest factors. In order to dismiss, a defendant must show the factors are strongly in favor of dismissal.

Espinoza et al., personal representatives for the estates of several victims of a helicopter crash in Peru, sued Evergreen Helicopters Inc. (Evergreen) for wrongful death. Evergreen is an Oregon corporation. At trial, Evergreen moved to dismiss, arguing Peru was a more convenient forum in which to litigate; the trial court granted this motion. Espinoza appealed, arguing the trial court could not deny jurisdiction based on the inconvenient forum doctrine. The Court considered whether the inconvenient forum doctrine was available in Oregon, and whether the trial court correctly applied the doctrine if it is. The Court held that although the doctrine is available, so a trial court may decline jurisdiction if an adequate alternative forum is presently available, in this case the trial court did not apply the correct factors to determine the correct forum. The factors to weigh are the private and public interest factors outlined in Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert (330 US 501). Vacated and remanded with instructions to reconsider.

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