A 2005 traffic accident in Dallas certainly has gotten a lot of national attention in recent months. That's because In Re Volkswagen of America Inc. et al appears to be the case that will empty the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, heretofore known as a "judicial hellhole" for defendants. As we noted in August, plaintiffs involved in an '05 Dallas crash -- an accident in which a 7-year-old girl was killed when her grandmother's VW Golf seat collapsed backward -- claimed that improper seat design was to blame for the girl's death. They took their case to Marshall rather than the Dallas courthouse because the Eastern District is notoriously plaintiff-friendly.
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But VW wanted the case tried in Dallas. As Inside Counsel put it two months ago: "The car was purchased in Dallas. The accident occurred on a Dallas freeway. Dallas residents witnessed the crash. Dallas police and paramedics responded. A Dallas doctor performed the autopsy. The third-party defendant driver lives in Dallas County and none of the parties or significant witnesses resides in the Marshall division." And, on Friday, 10 judges agreed with VW. --Robert Wilonsky