The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for the U.S. is scheduled to rehear arguments concerning its previous decision the case of re VW IIb which established the “100-mile threshold” for venues in cases of product liability. The decision was vacated pending the en banc proceedings scheduled to take place in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 23.

The arguments stem from an automobile accident that took place within the Dallas division of the Northern District of Texas. A product liability suit was filed by the victim against car manufacturer Volkswagen in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District.

The car maker sought to change the venue to Dallas due to the witnesses and plaintiffs residing in that area in addition to the car being purchased in Dallas, the accident taking place there, medical care being received there, and there being no parties or witnesses residing in Marshall.

District Judge John Ward denied the motion to transfer and a motion for reconsideration before Volkswagen appealed to the Fifth Circuit.

The appellate court initially sided with the lower court, but later agreed with Volkswagen at a rare oral argument for reconsideration that the district court had abused its discretion by applying the wrong legal standard.

According to the vacated opinion, there is a 100-mile threshold between the existing location and the proposed location. The plaintiff’s petition to review the decision was granted by the Fifth Circuit.

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