$50+ Million Recovered Since 2015
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$6.3 Million, Mongtomery Co. Stroke Misdiagnosis Verdict
$2 Million, Sept. 2021 Chester Co. Misdiagnosis Verdict
Firm Partner Seth Wilson Gives Media Interview
Offices in Philadelphia & Conshohocken, PA
Effective January 2023, Amended Law Helps Patients File Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
As of January 1, 2023, a significant change to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure gives plaintiffs the ability to choose where to file medical malpractice lawsuits.
Quick History of Venue Rules in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases
Twenty years ago, the PA legislature passed the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (Act) to reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the state. Under the Act, plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases had to file their cases in the county where the medical negligence occurred. See PA Rule of Civil Procedure 1006 (a.1): “a medical professional liability action may be brought against a healthcare provider for a medical professional liability claim only in a county in which the cause of action arose.”
New Venue Rule
In August 2022, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court eliminated this rule. Effective January 2023, medical malpractice cases may be filed in any county where:
- the defendant(s) can be served (i.e., has an office, does business, etc.),
- the medical malpractice occurred, or
- a relevant transaction or event giving rise to the action occurred.
Practical Effects of the New Rule – Convenience & Strategy
One significant effect of the new rule is convenience for plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases. Some of Pennsylvania’s largest medical facilities and healthcare organizations operate in multiple counties. For example, Penn Medicine and Main Line Health operate not only in Philadelphia County, but also surrounding counties like Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, etc. In addition, many patients who reside in one county often obtain treatment by a provider in another county. The new rule allows medical malpractice plaintiffs to file a lawsuit in the county most convenient for them.
For instance, a Philadelphia resident who works in Montgomery County sees a family doctor close to work. That family doctor’s medical practice has an office in Philadelphia. In a medical malpractice action against that doctor, the patient can file the claim in either Montgomery County or Philadelphia County. Under the previous venue rule, the case could only be filed in Montgomery County, i.e., where the negligent conduct occurred.
In addition, plaintiffs’ attorneys are likely to select certain counties based on local county rules that impact the case. One of the most important local rules that can significantly impact a case is case management rules. Philadelphia County’s case management system imposes time deadlines on resolution of civil cases. Accordingly, most medical malpractice cases in Philadelphia are resolved within two years of the filing of the Complaint. In other counties without case management systems, medical malpractice cases can take upwards of three to four years to resolve.
Many defense lawyers will argue that the new venue rule allows plaintiffs to file lawsuits in the county most likely to yield the highest financial award. Historically, Philadelphia County is known for some of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in the state. However, in recent years, other counties have begun to mirror the trend in Philadelphia. Our firm has obtained record-breaking medical malpractice verdicts in counties that have been historically hostile in medical malpractice cases. While of course, Philadelphia remains the most plaintiff-friendly, venue will ultimately depend on convenience for the plaintiff and local rules that favor the case.
We Accept Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospitals in the Philadelphia Area
Cases Also Accepted Across Pennsylvania
Chestnut Hill Hospital
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Roxborough Memorial Hospital
Temple University Hospital
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)
Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)
Springfield Hospital (Springfield)
Taylor Hospital (Ridley)
Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)
Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)
Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)
Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)
Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)
Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
Shriner's Hospitals for Children
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