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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Twelve Texas health care providers and 70 non-resident health care providers brought suit against ESC Medical Systems over various laser hair removal and other cosmetic medical devices they said did not work as promised. The trial court dismissed the claims of the 70 out-of-state parties, who reside in 22 other states, on the basis of forum non conveniens. HOLDING:Affirmed. It is undisputed that dismissal under forum non conveniens grounds requires the existence of an alternative forum in which all of the defendants are amenable to process. This case presents the additional question of whether the forum non conveniens doctrine requires that there be an alternative forum in which all of the defendants are amenable to process by all of the plaintiffs. Though at least two Texas cases have suggested that the entire case and all parties should be able to come within the jurisdiction of the alternative forum, neither case, nor any other, overturned a dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds because such an alternative forum was lacking. “As a practical matter, if fracturing multi-state plaintiffs’ claims, as occurred in this case, is proper on [forum non conveniens] grounds, then the ability of plaintiffs from multiple states to bring joint actions in Texas is seriously in question, and without regard to the considerations that otherwise govern joinder of claims. We have found nothing to suggest that this is in any way an objective of the [forum non conveniens] doctrine. Nevertheless, despite the potentially wide-ranging, and possibly unintended, consequences of applying the [forum non conveniens] doctrine in this manner, we have not been provided authority clearly demonstrating it to be error.” OPINION:Edelman, J.; Fowler, Edelman and Seymore, JJ.

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