Piper Aircraft Co v Reyno Essay
Piper Aztec, co-manufactured by American petitioners, crashed in Scotland in July 1976, killing all on board. The plane was under Scottish air traffic control, registered in Great Britain, owned/maintained by Air Navigation and Trading Co. Ltd. , and operated by McDonald Aviation Ltd. , a Scottish air taxi service. California probate court appointed Gaynell Reyno in July 1977.
Procedural Facts: Reyno filed a case against the petitioners, claming negligence and strict liability in the Superior Court of California, while explaining that the rules and law in California were more positive than those in Scotland. The case was removed to the US District Court for the Central District of California, before it was transferred in December 1977 to the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of forum non conveniens.
After finding an alternative forum in Scotland, the District Court granted the motion and dismissed the complaint in October 1979. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision on the grounds that dismissal is automatically barred when the law of an alternative forum is less favorable for the plaintiff than the law of the forum that has been chosen by the plaintiff.
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