Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Pennsylvania Superior Court Reverses Trial Court Decision to Transfer Venue of a Products Liability Case Out of Philadelphia County



In the case of Hangey v. Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc., No. 3296 EDA 2017 (Pa. Super. March 8, 2021) (en banc), the court reversed the trial court’s granting of Preliminary Objections on venue issues.

The court found that it was an abuse of discretion to change venue out of Philadelphia based solely on the Defendant conducting only de minimis business in that county.

The Superior Court noted that “regular” conduct of business does not mean “principal,” and a Defendant may perform acts regularly even though such acts are only a small part of its total activities.

On the venue question, the courts must determine whether the evidence, including the scope of the Defendant’s business, established that a Defendant’s contacts with the venue satisfied the quantity prong of the quality/quantity test.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court noted that the number and dollar figure of sales by the Defendant in Philadelphia, and the fact that the Defendant has an authorized dealer in Philadelphia to sell its products, is relevant to the determination of whether its contacts with Philadelphia satisfy the “quantity” prong of the venue analysis. The court additionally stated that he percentage of sales of a corporation in a venue is only one factor to be considered under this analysis.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this Majority Opinion of this decision may click this LINK.  The Dissenting Opinion by Judge Stabile 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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