Congratulations to Lisa Ondich for Winning Change of Venue Motion

Lisa OndichThe Sherr Law Group is pleased to announce that a Motion to Transfer Venue based on a legal term known as forum non conveniens, was granted on a product liability claim where Sherr Law Group is representing the defendant. 

Suit was filed against our client in Philadelphia County, however the loss occurred in Centre County.  Because of the strategy used by the firm, Sherr Law Group was successful in having the case transferred to the county where the claim occurred versus having the case tried in Philadelphia County.

What is Forum non Conveniens?

As background, the doctrine of Forum non Conveniens, governs where the court needs to find that despite a venue being technically proper, the plaintiff’s choice, in this case Philadelphia, must be overturned. 

Forum non Conveniens is Latin for “Forum that does not belong to the case/plaintiff.” Many people are familiar with the phrase, “change of venue.”  There have been many cases in the past where the courts have not agreed to change the venue.  However, this time, the arguments set forth by our partner, Lisa Ondich, resulted in a positive decision – Lisa prevailed!  As a result, our lawsuit will move forward in Centre County, the county in which the plaintiff lived when the loss occurred.

A few Questions Answered

Q: What is the benefit to the defendant of having the venue changed from Philadelphia to Centre County?

Philadelphia is a plaintiff-friendly venue and plaintiffs would choose to remain in Philadelphia whenever possible.  The benefit is to have this case litigated in the county when the claim arose.

Q: Why are change of venue cases so difficult to win?

A plaintiff’s choice of venue is given significant weight, and a defendant needs to establish that the venue selected by the plaintiff is “oppressive and burdensome” when seeking a change of venue under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.  In our case, plaintiff’s choice of venue was technically proper because a codefendant has a distributor located in Philadelphia County.  However, based on the facts as a whole, venue should be in the county was the claim arose, and the court agreed with our position.

Q: Can you share some of the rationale you used in presenting your case which resulted in the court agreeing with you and changing the venue? 

The property, the product, and all witness are located in Centre County.  There was no relevant connection to Philadelphia County.

Q: Where does the products liability claim go from here?

The case will now be litigated in Centre County

Sherr Law Group will be regularly posting updates on this case.  Please visit our site often to learn more!

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