The Ninth Circuit Followed Well Established Law In Evaluating The Relevance Of Witness Testimony And Did Not Create Any Public Policy Concerns.
Petitioner argues that dismissal for forum non conveniens is necessary because any litigation of Ms. Ito’s claims will require testimony and evidence relating to the 1995 accident, and thus asserts that the Court of Appeals opinion “reflects that it disregarded the element of access to evidence as a private interest factor.” Pet. at 5. Not so. A close reading of the Court of Appeals’ opinion indicates that it explicitly considered access to evidence when balancing the Gilbert factors, but held that this factor did not weigh in favor of dismissal, because Tokio Marine failed to present any evidence to the district court that documents and records located in Japan
are relevant to resolving Ms. although Tokio Marine stresses accident are located in Japan,
Ito’s claims. For example, that the witnesses to the 1995 there is no reason that their
testimony would be material the 1996 agreement.
To the contrary, the vast majority of relevant evidence is located in the United States. Tokio Marine and Ms. Ito entered into the 1996 agreement while Ms. Ito was located in the United States. Her treating physicians, medical records, and proof of lost income, all of which will be relevant to a damages determination, are located in the United States. In light of Tokio Marine’s claims that Ms. Ito’s California-based physicians were unqualified, evidence of their treatment of Ms. Ito’s injuries — which is, of course, located in California — will be vital to the resolution of Ms. Ito’s claims. All of the records of her medical treatment and lost wages are in English. Given that litigation in Ms. Ito’s home forum will give the