Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lackawanna County Judge Nealon Addresses Forum Non Conveniens Motion For Transfer of Venue

In his recent August 3, 2015 Opinion in the case of Horst v. Union Carbide Corporation, No. 2015-CV-1903 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Aug. 3, 2015 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas denied a Defendant’s Petition to Transfer Venue of a personal injury asbestos action on forum non conveniens grounds.

According to the Opinion, the Defendant, who maintained its principal place of business in Lancaster County, petitioned the court to transfer venue to Lancaster County under a primary argument that the litigation of this matter in Lackawanna County was vexatious and/or oppressive to the Defendants.

Judge Nealon reviewed the current status of the standard of review on a petition for a transfer of venue on the Pa. R.C.P. 1006(d)(1) in a thorough Opinion.

Concisely, Judge Nealon noted that, in order to prevail on such a Petition for Transfer of Venue under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the Defendants must establish "with detailed information on the record" that the Plaintiffs’ choice of forum is either (1) designed to harass the Defendants, or (2) appreciably burdensome in terms of access to witnesses and trial evidence.

After noting that the record before him did not support a finding that the Defendant had met the required elements of the test, Judge Nealon denied the Petition to Transfer Venue to Lancaster County under Rule 1006(d)(1) as the Defendants had not met their "heavy burden" imposed under Pennsylvania law. 

Anyone wishing to review this Horst Opinion by Judge Nealon may click this LINK.

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