Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Application of Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens Supports Transfer of Case (Non-Precedential)

In the case of McGuinness v. Elite Crete Systems, Inc., No.  1176 EDA 2021 (Pa. Super. Sept. 14, 2022 Sullivan, J., Nickels, J., Pellegrini, J.) (Op. by Sullivan, J.)(Non-Precedential), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a trial court’s granting of a Motion for Transfer of Venue under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

According to the Opinion, this matter arose out of an explosion that occurred in Pittsburgh. The Plaintiff filed suit in Philadelphia.

In affirming the lower court’s decision, the appellate court stated that the cause of action had no relationship to Philadelphia County and all of the evidence and witnesses were located in Alleghany County.

The appellate court additionally noted that, to show the oppressiveness of the forum improperly chosen by the Plaintiff, a Defendant need not show near-draconian consequences from a trial in that chosen forum of the Plaintiff. Rather, a Defendant may establish that a Plaintiff’s chosen forum for a lawsuit is oppressive by showing that a trial in another county would provide easier access to witnesses and other sources of proof.

The appellate court viewed the doctrine of forum non conveniens as a necessary counterbalance to forum shopping by Plaintiffs.

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 Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

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