Monday, January 30, 2023

Philadelphia Trial Court Grants Petition To Transfer Under Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens

In the case of Smith v. CMS West, Inc., July Term 2020, No. 02048 (C.P. Phila. Co. Sept. 2, 2022) (Shreeves-Johns, J), the court affirmed a decision granting a Motion to Transfer Venue under Pa. R.C.P. 1006(d)(1) on the grounds that the former venue was oppressive to several of the witnesses who did not reside within the county where the case was filed and which witnesses would have to travel several hours for depositions and the trial.   

This matter arose out of a strict products liablity incident that occurred in Butler County, which is near Pittsburgh.  The Plaintiff filed suit in Philadelphia.

After the trial court denied Preliminary Objections asserting improper venue, certain Defendants filed a joint Petition to Transfer Venue for Forum Non Conveniens seeking to have the matter transferred to Butler County under Pa.R.C.P. 1006(d)(1).

As noted above, the trial court granted this Petition to Transfer. In doing so, the court rejected the Plaintiff’s arguments that the court did not allow the parties to engage in enough discovery related to the issue of venue.  The court noted that the Plaintiffs were allowed to submit several Affidavits to the court regarding the venue selection.   

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source:  “Digest of Recent Opinions.”  Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Dec. 13, 2022). 

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