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William Wimble v. Parx Casino and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment

March 9, 2012

WILLIAM WIMBLE, APPELLANT
v.
PARX CASINO AND GREENWOOD GAMING & ENTERTAINMENT, INC., D/B/A PHILADELPHIA PARK CASINO



Appeal from the Order entered March 7, 2011 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division, No. 941 EDA 2011

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lazarus, J.

J. S58037-11

BEFORE: BOWES, GANTMAN and LAZARUS, JJ.

OPINION BY LAZARUS, J.

William Wimble appeals from the order granting the preliminary objections filed by Parx Casino and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a/ Parx Casino*fn1 (collectively, "Greenwood Gaming") and transferring venue from Philadelphia to Bucks County. After careful review, we affirm.

On October 22, 2010, Wimble filed a complaint against Greenwood Gaming alleging negligence with regard to an alleged incident that occurred on April 16, 2010 in which Wimble claims he tripped over a defective electrical cord and sustained serious injury. Greenwood Gaming filed preliminary objections to the complaint on November 16, 2010 in which it raised, inter alia, the issue of venue. Wimble filed an amended complaint on December 2, 2010. Greenwood Gaming filed preliminary objections to the amended complaint on December 29, 2010. Thereafter, Wimble filed a second amended complaint on January 14, 2011, to which Greenwood Gaming again filed preliminary objections. Wimble filed a response to these preliminary objections on February 17, 2011. By order dated March 7, 2011, the Honorable Sandra Mazer Moss sustained Greenwood Gaming's preliminary objections to Wimble's second amended complaint and transferred venue to Bucks County.

This timely appeal*fn2 followed, in which Wimble asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by: (1) failing to apply the proper legal standard to determine the propriety of venue in Philadelphia; (2) failing to develop a factual record prior to making its determination; and (3) concluding on the record before it that Greenwood Gaming did not regularly conduct business in Philadelphia County.

Our scope and standard of review are as follows:

It is well established that a trial court's decision to transfer venue will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion. A Plaintiff's choice of forum is to be given great weight, and the burden is on the party challenging the choice to show it was improper. However, a plaintiff's choice of venue is not absolute or unassailable. Indeed, if there exists any proper basis for the trial court's decision to grant a petition to transfer venue, the decision must stand.

Fritz v. Glen Mills Schools, 840 A.2d 1021, 1023 (Pa. Super. 2003) (citation omitted).

Wimble alleges that the trial court erred in failing to apply the correct legal standard in determining that venue was not proper in Philadelphia County. He also alleges that the court erred in concluding that Greenwood Gaming does not regularly conduct business in Philadelphia County. For the following reasons, these claims are without merit.

Rule of Civil Procedure 2179 provides that an action against a corporation may be brought in and only in:

(1) the county where its registered office or principal place of ...


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