Supreme Court Considers Change To Medical Malpractice Venue Rule

Since 1906, for over a century, the attorneys at Powell Law have helped victims of medical malpractice recover damages for their injuries. Properly litigating a professional malpractice case ensuring that our clients complete and total recovery of their losses is always the first and foremost priority of the experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Powell Law.

On December 22, 2018, the Civil Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a proposal to repeal the medical malpractice venue rule, Pa. R. Civ. P. 1006(a.1), which requires medical malpractice actions to be brought in the county in which the cause of action arose.

The Committee concluded that the medical malpractice venue rule “no longer appears warranted” partially based on the fact that the number of lawsuits has drastically decreased in the last fifteen years. The Rule treated medical malpractice lawsuits differently than other civil lawsuits which may be moved to any county where a plaintiff or defendant has a personal or professional connection.

Two decades ago in Pennsylvania, a medical malpractice plaintiff, if certain conditions were met, had the option to “venue shop” and file in a jurisdiction different from where the alleged malpractice event occurred. The purpose of venue shopping is to file in a location where juries are reputed to be sympathetic to plaintiffs. 

As a result of this, medical malpractice lawsuits and verdicts increased, as did insurance costs, especially professional malpractice insurance, with the problem finally reaching a crisis level thus precipitating the 2002 order requiring medical malpractice actions to be brought only in the county where the claim arose. This caused medical malpractice lawsuits to decrease by almost half from 2002 to 2017.

After the Pennsylvania Senate adopted a resolution requesting additional time to study the impact of the proposed rule repeal, the Supreme Court announced that it would refrain from taking action on the proposed rule change until it had the opportunity to review the report of Legislative Budget and Finance Committee ordered by the Senate resolution. Thus, time will tell if the venue rule is repealed. Stay tuned!

If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury, especially as a result of medical malpractice, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. Our decades of experience make us the preferred choice for representation in personal injury and medical malpractice matters in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. Our attorneys, past and present, have represented victims for 113 years. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. Call today.

Supreme Court Considers Change To Medical Malpractice Venue Rule

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