Monday, July 8, 2024

Trial Court Requests Superior Court To Reverse Trial Court's Own Venue Ruling

In the case of Martinez v. Elsner Engineering Works, Inc., No. 230102505 (C.P. Phila. Co. Feb. 15, 2024 Anders, J.), the trial court issued a Rule 1925 Opinion in which it requested the Superior Court to reverse the trial court’s previous ruling that sustained a Defendant’s Preliminary Objections as to venue and transferred the case from Philadelphia County to York County. 

The trial court noted that, in this case, the Plaintiff sued multiple Defendants in Philadelphia County for personal injuries allegedly caused by a defective industrial product/equipment.

The Plaintiff’s Complaint alleged that one (1) Defendant designed, manufactured and sold the industrial equipment in Philadelphia County and that another Defendant was a successor-in-interest to the manufacturer.

The successor-in-interest Defendant filed Preliminary Objections and asserted that Philaelphia County was an improper venue.  In its original decision, the trial court agreed and ordered that the case be transferred to York County.

With this Opinion, the trial court concluded that, upon further review of the matter, its Order should be reversed and that Philadelphia should be found to be a proper venue for the case because a transaction or occurrence took place in Philadelphia County out of which the Plaintiff’s cause of action arose. More specifically, the Plaintiff had alleged that the original equipment manufacturer had defectively designed, manufactured, and sold the disputed equipment in Philadelphia County.

The trial court noted that it had reviewed additional case law authority that offered guidance as to whether proper venue in a particular county existed based upon business activity of a predecessor corporation of a current defendant in a matter. In that regard, the court found that a predecessor corporation’s activities could be attributed to its successor for purposes of a determination of proper jurisdiction.

As such, the trial court was now concluding that Philadelphia County was a proper venue in light of the Plaintiff’s allegations that the Defendant at issue was a successor-in-interest of the original equipment manufacturer.  The trial court, therefore, requested the Superior Court it reverse the trial court's prior decision.

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

Source:, “The Legal Intelligencer Common Pleas Case Alert” (June 5, 2024).

Source of image: Photo by Nick Fewings on

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