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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The parties to the underlying litigation were foreign corporations suing for allegations related to fraud and breach of fiduciary duty based upon allegedly improper conduct regarding a possible joint venture to build a liquid petroleum gas distribution system for the purpose of importing and marketing liquid petroleum gas products in India. The plaintiffs were three foreign-owned Mauritius companies that sued two of British Petroleum’s (BP) subsidiaries related to the project. The Mauritius companies filed suit in Dallas. The parties engaged in extensive discovery limited to issues regarding the special appearances filed by the defendants and the motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens filed by the defendants. After a hearing on the motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens, the trial court granted the motion and dismissed the case. The trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law. Plaintiffs appealed, challenging the trial court’s dismissal of the case as an abuse of discretion and the trial court’s specific findings of fact and conclusions of law on the grounds that the findings were either an abuse of discretion or not supported by legally or factually sufficient evidence. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court reviews the evidence and finds that the parties have signed various agreements that provide that English law shall govern any disputes related thereto. Further, BP filed suit in England. The court notes that the English suit has been abated, pending a determination of the forum non conveniens issues by the Texas courts. Therefore, the court concludes that England is an available alternative forum. The court next proceeds to examine the public and private factors to determine whether the balance favors the defendants such that the plaintiffs’ choice of forum should be disturbed. The three private factors are: 1. relative ease of access to sources of proof; 2. availability of compulsory process; and 3. enforceability of a judgment obtained. The court notes that plaintiffs are complaining about the action of the BP defendants related to an international project that involved foreign corporations negotiating about a project that would not take place on American soil. The court finds from the evidence presented that the primary witnesses to the dispute are not located in Texas, but rather in England. Included in the record is a list of proposed witnesses which contains more than 300 names, the majority of which reflect a contact address outside the United States. In this broad-based international dispute, the court finds that the long list of witnesses includes many individuals who may or may not be subject to compulsory process in either jurisdiction. The court reasons that Texas has no greater power to compel the appearance of the international witnesses than does England. Further, the court finds it clear from the record that the parties to this dispute are sophisticated world travelers and international entrepreneurs for whom global meetings and world travel are a regular occurrence. Also, the court finds that the enforceability of a judgment, should plaintiffs prevail in a suit against defendants, is not an issue because the parties have submitted to the jurisdiction of the English courts. The public factors are: 1. burden imposed upon the citizens and courts of Texas in trying a case that has no relation to Texas; 2. general interest in having localized controversies decided locally; and 3. interest in having a diversity case tried in a forum that is familiar with the law that must govern the action. The court finds no justification for burdening Texas citizens and courts with litigation that has already produced thousands of pages of pretrial appellate record. Also, the court finds no merit to plaintiffs’ argument that the suit should be kept in Texas merely because the plaintiffs’ representative was passing through Texas when he received a phone call discussing the project between the parties. Similarly, the court holds that the fact that some of the other potential multinational corporate investors had ties to Texas is not evidence of a public factor justifying retention of this litigation in Texas. Consequently, the court concludes that the evidence is overwhelmingly favorable to the trial court’s judgment. The court overrules plaintiff’s issue that the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing the suit under the forum non conveniens doctrine. Because that issue is dispositive of the appeal, the court does not reach the remaining issues. OPINION:Barajas, C.J.; Barajas, C.J., McClure, and Chew, JJ.

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