June 26, 2013 Articles

End in Sight for Long-Running Forum Non Conveniens Battle

By Deborah A. Elsasser

We have previously reported on the seven-year forum battle arising from the August 16, 2005, accident involving West Caribbean Airways (WCA) Flight 708, which crashed in Venezuela while en route from Panama to Martinique with 152 passengers (all Martinique residents) on board. At the time of that article, an appeal was pending in the Eleventh Circuit that would determine whether the plaintiffs could reinstate their wrongful-death action in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida notwithstanding the 2007 forum non conveniens (FNC) dismissal of the case to the more convenient forum of Martinique. As explained below, the Eleventh Circuit rejected the plaintiffs' argument and affirmed the district court's refusal to reinstate the claims. Bapte v. West Caribbean Airways, ___ F.3d ___, No. 12-13278 (11th Cir., May 6, 2013).

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