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New York Court Discusses When a Change of Venue is Appropriate in Medical Malpractice Cases

Generally, a person injured by medical malpractice has the discretion to choose where to file a lawsuit seeking damages. If the defendant believes a lawsuit was filed in an improper county, though, the defendant can challenge the plaintiff’s selection and petition the court to move the case to another location. Recently, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York, discussed the basis for transferring a matter to another venue, in a case alleging medical malpractice against numerous defendants. If you were injured by negligent medical care, it is critical to retain a knowledgeable Rochester medical malpractice attorney to assist you in pursuing your claims in the appropriate venue.

Factual and Procedural Background

Allegedly, the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice action in Dutchess County against numerous care providers. The chosen venue was based upon the purported location of the main office of one of the defendants. The defendants then filed motions to change the venue of the case to Tompkins County. The plaintiffs objected to the defendants’ motions, but the trial court granted the motions on the grounds that Dutchess County was not a proper county for pursuing the claims, despite the plaintiffs’ objections. The plaintiffs then appealed.

What Constitutes Proper Venue in a Medical Malpractice Case

In New York, a defendant can file a motion to change the place of a trial where the county chosen by the plaintiff is not the proper county. To successfully prove a change of venue is warranted, the defendant must not only show that the plaintiff’s chosen venue is improper but also that the venue chosen by the defendant is proper. If the defendant meets this burden, the burden then shifts to the plaintiff to show that the chosen venue is, in fact, proper.

Unless otherwise dictated by law, a trial shall be held in the county where one of the parties resided at the time the case was commenced. In cases involving individually owned businesses or partnerships, any county in which the business or partnership has its principal office, or where an individual owner or partner actually lives, will be deemed the county in which the business or partnership resides.

In the subject case, the venue was based upon the location of the principal office of one of the named defendants. As such, the defendants produced evidence that the office and residence of the named defendant in question were actually located in Thompkins County, instead of Dutchess County. In response, the plaintiffs failed to produce evidence sufficient to rebut this assertion. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Consult a Skillful Malpractice Attorney

Filing a medical malpractice case in an improper venue can result in unnecessary costs and delays. If you were injured by incompetent medical care, you should consult a skillful medical malpractice attorney to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue and what venue is most appropriate for seeking damages in your case. The trusted attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers have the experience and skills needed to help you pursue compensation, and we will diligently pursue the best result available in your case. We can be reached at 585-653-7343 or via the form online to schedule a complimentary and confidential conference.

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