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George Stoner v. Penn Kleen

October 5, 2012

GEORGE STONER APPELLANT
v.
PENN KLEEN, INC., K.E.W. INDUSTRIES LIMITED, PENN KLEEN EX-ITS, INC., NILFISK-ADVANCE, INC., NILFISK-ALTO CLEANING SYSTEMS, INC., ALTO CLEANING SYSTEMS, INC., NILFISK- ADVANCE GROUP, NILFISK-ALTO, EN DIVISION AF NILFI AND K.E.W. INDUSTRI A/S APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order Entered November 16, 2011 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Civil Division at No(s): April Term, 2011, No. 1487

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

BEFORE: SHOGAN, J., LAZARUS, J., and PLATT, J.*fn1

OPINION BY LAZARUS, J.

George Stoner appeals from the order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County granting Penn Kleen, Inc.'s petition to transfer venue on the grounds of forum non conveniens pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1006(d)(1). We affirm.

The relevant facts and procedural history are as follows:

This case arises from a March 16, 2010, accident occurring at [Stoner's] place of employment, Swopes Salvage Yard, in East Berlin, Adams County, Pennsylvania. [Stoner] was injured by an explosion which occurred during the course of his disassembly of a pressure washer, alleged[ly] sold to Swopes by moving Defendant Penn Kleen.

Defendant Penn Kleen has its principle place of business in York County, Pennsylvania. Defendant Alto Cleaning Systems is located in North Carolina. The Nilfisk Defendants are located in Minnesota, Arizona and Denmark. The K.E.W. Defendants are located in Denmark.

The availability of venue in Philadelphia is not disputed.

Defendant, Penn Kleen, Inc., moved for transfer of the case from Philadelphia to Adams County, or in the alternative, its home County of York, for forum non conveniens, pursuant to [Pa.R.C.P.] 1006(d)(1). [Stoner] filed a timely response to the motion. Responses were also filed by the Nilfisk Defendants. The parties also filed various replies and sur replies.

After considering the filings of the parties and the evidence of record, [the trial court] granted the motion to transfer for forum non conveniens, and transferred the matter to the Court of Common Pleas [of] Adams County by Order dated November 16, 2011.

Trial Court Opinion, 2/27/12, at 1-2. Stoner filed a timely appeal and timely statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b). Stoner raises two issues for our review:*fn2

1. Did Defendant Penn Kleen meet its burden of establishing with detailed information of record that litigating this case in Philadelphia County is oppressive to Penn Kleen, when it relied on self-serving affidavits and ignored the fact that much of [Stoner's] medical treatment took place in Philadelphia County?

2. Did the trial court err in transferring this case out of Philadelphia County, based solely upon the alleged hardship of a single defendant[] (Penn Kleen), where the other four defendants (located out-of-state) conceded

Philadelphia County was not an oppressive venue, and further, where transferring this case to Adams County will actually result in greater oppression to the ...


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