Third Circuit Says Bananas to Forum Shoppers Seeking Second Bite at the Apple

In a recent precedential 2-1 decision, Chavez, et al. v. Dole Food Company, Inc., et al., the Third Circuit emphasized the importance of the “first filed” rule and affirmed the dismissal of a Delaware suit that was “materially identical” to one first brought in Louisiana. The Circuit Court reiterated that “[t]he ‘first filed’ rule is a well-established policy of the federal courts that in all cases of concurrent jurisdiction, the court which first has possession of the subject must decide it. This rule permits the district courts, in their discretion, to stay, transfer, or dismiss cases that are duplicates of those brought previously in other federal fora.”