CML Procedure – Mandamus – Application to Erroneous Refusal to Dismiss on the Ground of Forum Non Conveniens

Petitioner railroad, defendant in a suit brought in Illinois under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, moved to dismiss on the ground of forum non conveniens. The accident occurred in New Mexico, and none of the parties or witnesses was a resident of Illinois. The railroad, however, did business in Illinois as well as in other states, and had its principal offices and legal staff in Chicago. Upon denial of the motion to dismiss, the railroad, on original petition to the Supreme Court of Illinois, sought a writ of mandamus to compel dismissal. Held, writ denied, two justices dissenting. Mandamus will not lie to review or modify the exercise of judicial discretion on the question of forum non conveniens, and for mere error, however gross or manifest, the appropriate remedy is appeal. People ex rel. Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway v. Clark, 12 Ill. (2d) 515, 147 N.E. (2d) 89.