Energy Claims Ltd. v. Catalyst Investment Group Ltd., 2014 UT 13 (May 9, 2014)
May 9, 2014
A foreign corporation filed suit in Utah asserting the rights of a defunct Utah company (as its assignee) against the company’s former directors, all of whom reside outside of Utah. The district court dismissed the case on the bases of forum non conveniens and improper venue, and the court of appeals affirmed. The court reversed and remanded, concluding that the district court should have given deference to the foreign corporation’s choice of forum in the forum non conveniens analysis because it was asserting a Utah company’s rights in Utah. The Utah Supreme Court also adopted the minority position from other jurisdictions and held, as a matter of first impression, that a plaintiff’s claim that a contract was entered into fraudulently is sufficient to render a forum selection clause in the contract unenforceable. The court instructed the district court on remand to first determine whether the forum selection clause in a contract with one of the defendants is enforceable, and then to perform a forum non conveniens analysis under the correct standard.