Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules on Issue of Proper Venue in Context of Parent-Subsidiary Entities in Med Mal Case

In the case of Estate of Rita Quigley v. Pottstown Hospital, No. 2022 Pa.Super. 205 (Pa. Super. Dec. 1, 2022 Lazarus, J., Murray, J., McCaffery, J.) (Op. by Lazarus, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that a Montgomery County hospital may be sued in Philadelphia County because its parent company regularly conducted business in the City of Philadelphia.   

According to commentators, little case law exists on this issue of proper venue in the context of parent-subsidiary relationships. Those commentators note that the limited guidance that did exist up to the time of this decision tended to favor the medical Defendants.   

In this case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reasoned that the parent company, Tower Health, which owned the Defendant, Pottstown hospital, actively controlled subsidiaries located in the City of Philadelphia.  The court found that that relationship was more than a sufficient reason for the lawsuit to be allowed to remain in Philadelphia.   

According to the Pennsylvania Law Weekly article by Alezza Furman cited below, some commentators view this decision as creating a framework for interpreting the relationship between parent and subsidiary companies and the impact of the same on proper venue for civil litigation matters involving such Defendants.   Some commentators believe that this ruling now hinders the ability of parent companies to distance themselves from the action taken by their subsidiaries and that this decision will assist Plaintiffs in forum disputes.  

Note that, on January 1, 2023 a new Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect that serves to expand the scope of where medical malpractice claims may be filed.   Under that Pennsylvania-friendly rule change issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Plaintiffs will now be allowed to sue medical providers in any county where the medical provider regularly conducts business or has significant contacts.   

This new rule reverses a 20 year old rule that limited medical malpractice suits to counties where the Plaintiff received the treatment at issue.   

Anyone wishing to review the Quigley decision may click this LINK.

Source:  Article: “Superior Court Sends Lawsuit Against Suburban Hospital Back To Philadelphia,” by Aleeza Furman.  Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Dec. 13, 2022).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.