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PETER MCREYNOLDS v. BENNER TOWNSHIP (07/28/88)

decided: July 28, 1988.

PETER MCREYNOLDS, APPELLANT
v.
BENNER TOWNSHIP, JAMES J. FURGISON AND AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR COMPANY, INC., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of Peter McReynolds v. Benner Township, James L. Furgison and American Honda Motor Company, Inc., No. 3628 September Term, 1986.

COUNSEL

Gordon W. Gerber, with him, Julie S. Mazza, Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellant.

Janet W. Mason, with her, Joseph Goldberg, Margolis, Edelstein, Scherlis, Sarowitz and Kraemer, for appellee, Benner Township.

Susan E. Satkowski, with her, Edward A. Gray, George J. Lavin, Jr., Assoc., for appellee, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Doyle, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 118 Pa. Commw. Page 216]

Peter McReynolds appeals a Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court order granting American Honda

[ 118 Pa. Commw. Page 217]

Motor Company's (Honda) petition for a change of venue.*fn1 Pa. R.C.P. No. 1006(d)(1).*fn2 We affirm.

McReynolds, a Chester County resident, collided head-on with an automobile while operating his Honda motorcycle. The accident occurred on a Benner Township road in Centre County where McReynolds was then residing. McReynolds filed a complaint against Honda which included separate counts of negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty and against Benner Township for negligent road design.*fn3 After initial discovery, Honda petitioned for change of venue to Centre County.*fn4 The common pleas court granted Honda's petition based on forum non conveniens.

McReynolds contends that the common pleas court abused its discretion in granting a change of venue because Honda failed to establish that transfer was warranted. We disagree.

Where venue is at issue, the plaintiff's right to choose a forum is not absolute. Ernest v. Fox Pool Corp., 341 Pa. Superior Ct. 71, 75, 491 A.2d 154, 156 (1985). Pa. R.C.P. 1006(d) "'vests considerable discretion in the trial judge to determine whether to grant a petition for a change of venue. On ...


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