Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pennsylvania Superior Court Addresses Standards for Applying Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens

In the case of Moody v. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, No. 3580 EDA 2016 (Pa. Super. Jan. 18, 2018 Bowes, J. Lazarus, J. and Blatt, J.) (Op. by Bowes, J.), the Superior Court found that the trial court applied the wrong legal standard in applying the doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens.  

This Opinion provides a nice overview of the current status of the law supporting doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens.  

The court in Moody held that multiple medical malpractice Defendants may be sued in any county where venue is proper against any one Defendant, subject to the doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens.

Here, the court found that the claims asserted by the Plaintiff against one Philadelphia Defendant were not fabricated such that the claims against the Defendant in the Plaintiff’s chosen venue were not incidental or tangential.  

The court otherwise noted that the fact that all but one of the Defendants were in a different county was not controlling on the issues presented. 

The Superior Court additionally noted that the trial should not have decided the Motion for Transfer of Venue under the doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens without allowing additional discovery to be secured from most of the Defendants.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.   

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the law firm of Reed Smith for bringing this case to my attention. 

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