Venue is the location where a lawsuit is filed and will go to Trial.
Each individual County in Pennsylvania has a Court and, in a Personal Injury Case, the injured party gets to choose the Venue where the lawsuit is filed, so long as the court rules regarding Venue are followed.
If the Defendant thinks that the Venue is improper, it can file an objection and ask that the case be dismissed or transferred to an appropriate Venue.
In Pennsylvania, the Venue rules provide that an accident victim case choose to sue in a variety of potential locations including: where the incident occurred, where any individual defendant resides, where a business entity being has its registered office or principal place of business or where the business entity being sued “regularly conducts business.”
For litigation involving more than one Defendant, the case can be filed in any County where it would be proper to sue any of the Defendants.
Philadelphia is considered to be a favorable Venue to file a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Case. Plaintiff’s lawyers want to be there. Conversely, Defense lawyers prefer cases to be filed in, or transferred to, the outlying Counties where Jury Verdicts are usually lower, like Delaware, Chester, Bucks or Montgomery County.
Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided the case of Hangey v. Husqvarna which ruled in favor of a Plaintiff to keep Venue of a Personal Injury Case in Philadelphia and shot down Defense efforts to keep the case out of Philadelphia by merely establishing that a very small percentage of the Defendant Company’s business was conducted in Philadelphia.
Instead, the PA Supreme Court held that in deciding whether Venue of litigation could be in Philadelphia based upon the rule allowing Venue if the Defendant “regularly conducts business” in the County, the Trial Judge is required to conduct an analysis of the “quality and quantity” of the business performed in the Venue.
The PA Supreme Court found that it is erroneous to decide the quantity prong solely on the basis of the percentage of sales conducted in the County. In doing so it ruled that the Trial Court had improperly transferred Venue out of Philadelphia based on the defense argument that Husqvarna conducting only 0.005% of its national revenue came from Philadelphia County which showed insufficient quantity of business under the “quality-quantity” test for “regularly conducting business.”
In the end, this decision is very favorable to injured accident victims in Pennsylvania because it protects their rights to choose the Venue where they want to litigate their cases, as long as the “quality-quantity” test shows that the Defendant “regularly conducts business” there.
Tim Rayne is a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer with the Chester County based law firm MacElree Harvey, Ltd. For over 25 years, Tim has been helping accident victims understand their legal rights and receive fair treatment from insurance companies. Contact Tim for a Free Evaluation of your Injury Case at 610-840-0124 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.TimRayneLaw.com.