Monday, July 10, 2023

Trial Court Order Transferring Case Under Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens Affirmed [Non-Precedential]

In the case of Smith v. Beckman Coulter, Inc., No. 2313 EDA of 2021 (Pa. Super. June 6, 2023 King, J., Bowes, J. and Pellegrini, J) (Op. by King, J.)[Non-Precedential], the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s granting of a Petition to Transfer a Case under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

This case involved an asbestos suit that was filed over an alleged exposure to asbestos at an educational institution located in Cumberland County. The case was filed in Philadelphia County.

The Superior Court ruled that the trial court properly transferred the case from Philadelphia County to Cumberland County.

The court noted that the evidence before the court confirmed that the Plaintiff’s choice of venue was either vexatious or so oppressive as to require a transfer. In this case, the site of the claimed exposure asbestos was over 100 miles from Philadelphia.

Additionally, multiple Affidavits from witnesses were provided to the court in which those witnesses confirmed that a trial in Philadelphia would be oppressive and create a great hardship because of personal, family, and job-related responsibilities.

The court ruled that, given the distance involved, the decision to transfer venue was proper even without consideration of those Affidavits.

No explanation was given as to why the Opinion was listed as Non-Predecential.  If the Superior Court takes the time and effort to write an Opinion, why not simply publish it?  

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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