Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approves Amendments to Broaden Medical Malpractice Venue Rules For the Benefit of Plaintiffs

Under an Order dated August 25, 2022, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved amendments to the medical malpractice venue rules that govern such lawsuits filed in the state court.  Under the new venue rules, set to go into effect on January 1, 2023, plaintiffs will have more options as to forum shopping in terms of where they can file their medical malpractice lawsuits.

The amendments undo a 20 year old rule.  Under the old rule, plaintiffs were required in medical malpractice cases to sue their medical providers in the counties where the treatment was completed.

Under the new rules, plaintiff's will be allowed to sue providers in any of the counties where the providers regularly do business or have significant contacts.

Here is a LINK to the Court's Per Curiam Order which confirms that the broader venue rules applicable to medical malpractice actions will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

The Civil Rules Committee issued a 14 page Adoption Report in which the history of the venue rule was reviewed along with the arguments for and against the amendment that was approved.  That report can be viewed at this LINK.

Source:  Article by Max Mitchell entitled "Pa. Supreme Court Broadens Pennsylvania's Medical Malpractice Venue Rules."  Pennsylvania Law Weekly (August 25, 2022).

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