Plaintiff James Karl brought a Fair Labor Standards Act case against his employer Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., in federal district court in California. Relying on a forum-selection clause in a sales-associate agreement, Zimmer moved to transfer the case to Indiana. The district court denied the motion on the ground that the clause was not valid. Zimmer then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking an order requiring the district court to transfer the case. The Ninth Circuit denied the petition. In May 2019, Zimmer then filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Public Citizen joined as co-counsel for Mr. Karl to oppose the petition for certiorari. The brief in opposition explained that Zimmer was relying on a forum-selection clause that it now conceded did not apply to Mr. Karl. The brief also showed that the Ninth Circuit’s approach to considering petitions for mandamus from orders on motions to transfer was in line with the approach of the other courts of appeals.