Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Eastern District Court in Philadelphia Transfers Wal-Mart Slip and Fall Case to Middle District Court

In the case of Darrup v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, No. 2:20-CV-05450-JDW(E.D. Pa. Feb. 18, 2021 Wolson, J.), the court granted a Defendant store’s Motion to Transfer the Case from the Eastern District Federal Court in Philadelphia to the Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.

Judge Joshua D. Wolson began his Opinion by writing, "Philadelphia has much to recommend it. World class cuisine. Great universities. Gritty. But one thing that Philadelphia, and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as a whole, lacks is any connection to this case."  See Op. at p. 1.

Judge Wolson noted that, in this case, the Plaintiff was "channel[ing] her inner W.C. Fields and argues she'd rather be in Philadelphia."  See Op. at p. 1.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff resided in Northumberland County and was alleging personal injuries as a result of a slip and fall that had allegedly occurred at a Wal-Mart store located in Northumberland County.  By the time the lawsuit was filed, the Plaintiff lived in Arizona and asserted that it would be more convenient for her to have to travel to Philadelphia for the litigation as opposed to a courthourse located in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The court found that everything about this case happened in the Middle District of Pennsylvania except for the Plaintiff filing suit in the Eastern District Court in Philadelphia.

The court noted that all of the relevant witnesses were located within the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The court stated that, when a Plaintiff’s choice of forum has little or no connection to the operative facts of the case and, where the Plaintiff lives outside of the chosen forum, that Plaintiff’s choice of forum should receive little weight.

As stated, the court granted a Motion to Transfer the case up to the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  The companion Order of Court can be viewed HERE.

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

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