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New York County Was Proper Venue for Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, Despite Defendant’s Objection

One of the first considerations in filing a Syracuse medical malpractice lawsuit is the proper party or parties to name as defendants. Another important issue that may need to be addressed is the correct court for purposes of jurisdiction and/or venue.

When a defendant disagrees with the plaintiff’s choice of forum, he or she may seek a change of venue. Even if such a motion is not successful, the filing of such a motion can cause a delay in the plaintiff’s attempt to seek fair compensation.

If the motion is successful, the case may continue in another court. Unfortunately, that court may be less convenient or less desirable from the plaintiff’s perspective. A party who is dissatisfied with a trial court’s ruling on an issue of venue may have an option to seek appellate review prior to trial.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a man who sought to recover compensation for injuries sustained due to the alleged medical malpractice of the defendants, a medical center, a medical group, and an emergency physician group. The plaintiff filed suit in the Supreme Court of New York County. In his suit, the plaintiff asserted that the emergency physician group had filed a certificate of incorporation in which it stated that New York County was the location of its principal place of business and that, therefore, venue was proper in that county.

In response, the defendant emergency physician group filed a motion to change the venue of the plaintiff’s suit on the grounds that, in its most recent biennial statements filed in accordance with New York law (in particular, pursuant to New York Business Corporations Law ยง 408), it had asserted its place of business as a city in the state of New Jersey. The trial court denied the defendant emergency physician group’s motion for a change of venue, and it appealed.

The Appellate Tribunal’s Resolution of the Dispute

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the lower court’s ruling denying the defendant emergency physician group’s motion for a change of venue. In the reviewing court’s opinion, the plaintiff had been within his rights in filing his medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants in New York County. In the court’s view, the papers that the defendant emergency physician group filed with the New York Secretary of State were controlling for purposes of the venue question. This was true even if the defendant emergency physician group did not actually have an office in New York County during the pertinent time period.

The appellate tribunal further opined that information in the biennial statement at issue was not determinative on the issue of venue, insomuch as the statement did not contain a certificate of incorporation or an amended certificate. Thus, venue was proper in New York County, and the case was remanded for further proceedings there.

If You Need More Information from a Syracuse Medical Malpractice Firm

The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP can help you determine not only whether you have a viable case against a medical provider or heath care professional, but can help you determine the appropriate tribunal for the filing of your complaint. To learn more about our services, call us at 315-479-9000 and ask for a free case evaluation.

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