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Court Discusses Venue in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

In New York, the party that files a lawsuit generally has the right to select the forum. The privilege is not boundless, though, and if the court determines that venue is improper, it can transfer a case to another court. Recently, a New York court issued a ruling in a medical malpractice case in which it discussed the factors for determining if venue is proper and the remedies for when it is not. If you sustained losses due to inadequate medical care, it is advisable to confer with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer to determine your options for seeking damages.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff, who lived in Westchester County, New York, treated with the defendants, who were located in Greenwich, Connecticut, for unspecified health concerns. The plaintiff ultimately suffered harm because of the carelessness of the defendants and filed a lawsuit asserting claims of medical negligence, medical malpractice, and lack of informed consent, among other things. The plaintiff instituted her case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserting diversity jurisdiction.

Factors for Determining if Venue is Proper

Upon review of the plaintiff’s complaint, the court decided, sua sponte, that venue was improper and transferred the matter to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The court explained that all of the defendants were residents of Greenwich, Connecticut, and most of the acts or omissions that gave rise to the plaintiff’s claims happened there as well. While the plaintiff asserted that venue was proper in the Southern District of New York because she lived in Westchester County, the court disagreed.

Under the federal venue statute, a party may commence a civil action in the district where any defendant resides or where a substantial part of the acts that gave rise to the claim occurred. If there is no district that falls within these categories, a plaintiff may bring their action in any district in which any defendant is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court.

If a case is filed in a district where venue is improper, the court must either dismiss the case or, if it is in the interest of justice, transfer the case to any district in which the matter could have been pursued. While it is within the discretion of the court whether to transfer or dismiss a case, transfer is the usual remedy.

Speak to a Trusted Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyer

People harmed by incompetent physicians have the right to seek compensation, but they must abide by procedural rules in their quest for justice. If you suffered harm because of the recklessness of a physician, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law.  You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at 315-479-9000 to set up a meeting.

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