Railroad clients obtain reversal from Superior Court of PA in a decision changing court venue

Last week, two railroad clients facing occupational injury allegations under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) from two former employees were granted a reversal by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to transfer court venues from the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County to Blair County.

Represented by Burns White Members T.H. Lyda and Ira L. Podheiser, the trial court initially granted the change in venue on Feb. 19, 2013 and entered it on Feb. 20 based on the fact that both appellees lived and worked in Blair County during the course of their employment. The appellees filed a motion to transfer a day later but failed to file a direct appeal. On April 10, the trial court granted the reconsideration motion, which led to the Superior Court appeal. Burns White attorneys argued that the trial court had no jurisdiction to reconsider the change in venue as more than 30 days had lapsed since the entry of order. In a published opinion, the Superior Court agreed, holding that the trial court lost jurisdiction after March 22. As a result, the Superior Court ordered that the cases be transferred to Blair County.

Note: The results obtained in a particular case are heavily dependent on the facts and the law specific to that case.