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SUSAN DEZARN AND EDWARD DEZARN v. AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORP. (03/11/83)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


March 11, 1983

SUSAN DEZARN AND EDWARD DEZARN, HER HUSBAND, APPELLANTS
v.
AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORP., A CORPORATION; GEOSETTE LANGENHEIM; AND MONONGAHELA VALLEY HOSPITAL, INC., A CORPORATION

No. 1220 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, at No. GD 81-28951

Before Cavanaugh, Brosky and Montgomery, JJ.

MEMORANDUM OPINION:

Appellants commenced this action in Allegheny County seeking to recover damages for injuries suffered by Mrs. DeZarn as a result of alleged medical malpractice by appellees, Dr. Langenheim and Monongahela Valley Hospital.*fn1 American Hospital Supply Corporation is alleged to have negligently and defectively designed and manufactured certain surgical devices used by Dr. Langenheim during surgery upon Mrs. DeZarn. The lower court granted preliminary objections raised by appellees and ordered a change of venue, transferring the case to Washington County pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1006(d). This interlocutory appeal of right (see Pa.R.A.P. 311(c)) followed. We affirm.

Pa.R.C.P. 1006(d) provides in pertinent part, [f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, the court upon petition of any party may transfer an action to the appropriate court of any other county where the action could originally have been brought."

While it is true that the plaintiff's choice of forum should not be lightly disturbed, Walker v. Ohio River Company, 416 Pa. 149, 205 A.2d 43 (1964), it is also the case that the decision whether to transfer is discretionary and we will not reverse unless the lower court has abused its discretion. Tarasi v. Settino, 223 Pa. Super. 158, 298 A.2d 903 (1972).

The lower court explained its decision to transfer noting that the plaintiff and defendant Langenheim reside in Washington County. Monongahela Valley Hospital, Inc., where the incident at issue occurred, is located in Washington County. American Hospital Supply apparently does business in most counties in the Commonwealth; it does maintain an office in Allegheny County. That office is, in fact, the only connection with Allegheny County that this case has.

Considering these facts, we find no abuse of discretion in the order to transfer.

Order affirmed.


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