Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno

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Facts: A small airplane crash occurred in Scotland, killing the pilot and all passengers. The representatives of the decedents brought suit in California. (Tort law is more favorable to the plaintiffs in the US than Scotland.)

Procedural History: Case was transferred to Penn. Defendants moved to dismiss on grounds of forum non conveniens. District court granted motion. Ct. of appeals reversed.

Issue: Can a case be dismissed (to be decided in another venue) based on forum non conveniens even if the change results in an unfavorable change in law for the plaintiff?

Arguments: Ct. of appeals said that if the change of venue results in any legal detriment at all to the plaintiff, the trial cannot be moved to another venue.

Holding: Yes, it can.

Reasons: Dismissal may not be barred solely because of the possibility of an unfavorable change in law.

Judgment: Reversed.