final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County Lower
Tribunal No. 14-1021, Robert J. Luck, Judge.
Attorneys at Law and Jorge L. Fors, Jr., for appellants.
& Ortega, Nicole Ruesca, Omar Ortega and Aileen J.
Esteban, for appellees.
LAGOA, EMAS and SCALES, JJ.
Luis Vasallo Tome, Mi Cine USA, Cine Nostalgia, Inc., and
Cine Estelar, Inc., are defendants in the action below.
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the operative complaint
of plaintiffs Victor Herrera-Zenil and Canal Mi Cine S.A. de
C.V., on forum non conveniens grounds.
trial court granted the motion and entered an order
dismissing the complaint. Plaintiffs have appealed that
order, which we review for an abuse of discretion. Kinney
Sys. Inc. v. Continental Ins. Co., 674 So.2d 86 (Fla.
1996); Rolls-Royce, Inc. v. Garcia, 77 So.3d 855
(Fla. 3d DCA 2012). Upon our review and consideration of the
entire record, we affirm.
Florida Supreme Court, "out of growing concern that
Florida was becoming a 'courthouse for the world' . .
. adopted the federal forum non conveniens standard" in
Kinney. Hilton Int'l Co. v. Carrillo,
971 So.2d 1001, 1004 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008). Under this standard,
a trial court presented with a forum non conveniens motion
must consider: 1) whether an adequate alternative forum
exists which has jurisdiction over the case; 2) all relevant
private interests, keeping in mind the "strong
presumption against disturbing plaintiffs' initial forum
choice"; 3) if the balance of private interests is at or
near equipoise, whether relevant public interests tip the
scale in favor of another forum; and 4) if the balance favors
an alternative forum, the court must ensure that plaintiffs
can bring suit in the alternative forum. Kinney, 674
So.2d at 90. See also Fla. R. Civ. P.
trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing over a period of
three days, and live testimony was presented during two of
those days. Following the hearing, and argument of counsel,
the trial court entered a detailed, thirteen-page order which
set forth its analysis of each of the Kinney
factors. The order also addressed the evidence supporting the
trial court's determinations that: Mexico was an
available and adequate alternative forum; the private
interest factors between litigating in Florida or Mexico were
in equipoise; the public interest factors weigh in favor of
Mexico as the forum for the action; the plaintiffs can
reinstate their suit in the alternative forum without undue
inconvenience or prejudice.
contend that there was no evidence to support the trial
court's finding that Mexico was an available and adequate
alternative forum. We do not agree. The defendants'
Mexican legal expert provided, by affidavit and sworn
testimony, sufficient evidence to establish that Mexico will
provide an adequate alternative forum for the causes of
action asserted in the operative complaint. Appellees
presented no expert testimony to rebut or contradict
defendants' evidence in this regard.
addition, defendants presented evidence of ongoing parallel
litigation in Mexico between Mi Cine, Herrera and Vasallo on
the same issues raised by plaintiffs in their complaint.
There was no abuse of discretion in the trial court's
determination that Mexico is an available and adequate
reject plaintiffs' contention that defendant Vasallo
waived any forum non conveniens challenge, and that
the trial court therefore necessarily abused its discretion
in granting the motion to dismiss on those grounds. A proper
reading of the record indicates that, although Vasallo's
counsel conceded that Vasallo, personally, was not going to
challenge forum non conveniens as to himself, counsel made it
clear that there was no waiver of the forum non conveniens
challenge raised on behalf of the defendant corporations (Mi
Cine USA, Cine Nostalgia, Inc., Cine Estelar, Inc.). Thus,
the trial court properly analyzed the Kinney factors
as to the forum non conveniens challenge pressed by the
corporate defendants. And, in fact, the trial court
considered, as one of the private interest factors, the fact
of Vasallo's waiver of his own personal forum non
conveniens challenge. Nevertheless, the trial court
determined that the private interest factors were in
equipoise, and we find no abuse of discretion in that
the other issues raised by plaintiffs are without merit and