Trial court abused its discretion in ruling Indiana is an inconvenient forum

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JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) appeals the trial court’s dismissal of its action against Desert Palace, Inc. (“Caesar’s”) and Opbiz, LLC (“Aladdin”) (together, the “Casinos”) for lack of personal jurisdiction and on grounds of forum non conveniens. Chase raises the following restated issues on appeal:

(1) Whether the Casinos have sufficient minimum contacts to satisfy due process.

(2) Whether Indiana is an inconvenient forum for Chase’s action against the Casinos.
Conclusion (slip op. at 13, 15):  The trial court erred in dismissing Chase’s claim for lack of personal jurisdiction . . . [and] abused its discretion in ruling Indiana is an inconvenient forum.  Reversed.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 13, 14):  We conclude that if the Casinos cashed a marker each knew was not properly authorized by the Indiana account holder . . . a defendant should reasonably anticipate being haled into an Indiana courtroom for tortiously converting an Indiana citizen’s money . . . Indiana courts can only decline litigation due to forum when it is likely to create a “substantial injustice” to the defendant.  A mere inconvenience to a corporate defendant’s employees does not create the type of injustice necessary to warrant a dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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