Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Superior Court Affirms Finding of Improper Venue in Philadelphia County Personal Injury Case

In the recent Pennsylvania Superior Court decision of Schultz v. MMI Products, Inc., et al.,   (Pa.Super. Oct. 21, 2011 Bowes, Allen, Platt, JJ.)(Opinion by Platt, S.J.), the Court affirmed the bouncing of a case filed in Philadelphia County to Lehigh County under an argument of improper venue.

This case arose out of a construction site accident that occurred in Lehigh County.

The plaintiff appeared to assert that the basis for venue in Philadelphia was the allegation that the defendant(s) “regularly conducted  business” in Philadelphia County.  The defendant introduced evidence via affidavit that only .8 and 1.3 % of their business was in Philadelphia.

The Opinion provides a detailed analysis of the applicable law on the venue rules found under Pa.R.C.P. 1006 and 2179. 

Although this issue is essentially the same issue as addressed by the Superior Court in its recent Post-Koken decision in Sehl v. Neff, that decision was not cited in this Opinion in the Schultz case.  In Sehl, the Superior Court rejected the contention that a plaintiff could pursue a post-Koken auto accident case in any county they wanted on the grounds that the insurance company defendant regularly conducted business in every county of the Commonwealth.

Anyone desiring a copy of the Schultz v. MMI Products decision (or the Sehl v. Neff decision) may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

I thank Attorney Suzanne Tighe of the Scranton, PA office of Swartz Campbell for bringing this decision to my attention.

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