In Zions First National Bank v. Moto Diesel Mexicana, S.A. de C.V., the Sixth Circuit vacated a district court’s dismissal of an action on the grounds of forum non conveniens and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The court identified three failings in the district court’s analysis.  First, the district court failed to consider the deference due to a U.S. plaintiff’s choice of a U.S. forum, which applies even when the plaintiff is not a resident of the forum state.  Second, the district court gave “inordinate weight to the cost of travel and obtaining witnesses” without considering whether the defendant would be unduly burdened by trial in the plaintiff’s chosen forum.  Third, the district court did not analyze each of the plaintiff’s three claims separately to determine whether each one should be tried in the alternative forum.

By vacating the district court’s decision on abuse-of-discretion review, Sixth Circuit’s opinion sends a clear message that the court requires rigorous application of its forum non conveniens test.