Gary Samms Discusses the Amendments to the PA’s Venue Rules in an Interview with The Legal Intelligencer

August 26, 2022

Obermayer chair of the firm’s Professional Liability Practice Group and the Catastrophic Loss Group, Gary Samms, was recently quoted in The Legal Intelligencer about The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s approval of the controversial amendments to the state’s medical malpractice venue rules that are set to broaden where plaintiffs can file their lawsuits. The rules changes are set to go into effect in January 2023, and the rules also stated the committee will reexamine the issue after two years.

The rules undo a 20-year-old rule change that restricted plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases so that they could only sue their providers in the counties where they received the problematic treatment. Defense attorneys and opponents of the measure are concerned that they will likely usher in high insurance premiums and force medical professionals to leave the state.

In the article, titled “Pa. Supreme Court Broadens Pennsylvania’s Medical Malpractice Venue Rules,” published on August 25, 2022, Gary argued the changes will likely lead to lots of unnecessary parties and entities with connections to more favorable venues being sued.

“It appears that the rule invites partnerships and corporate entities who may not be responsible for the healthcare treatment to be added in for jurisdictional purposes alone,” he said.

Further, Gary questioned why the rules would be rescinded at a time when hospitals in the region have been closing and facing severe financial hardships.

“How does this help?” he said. “It seems like a drastic mistake in light of five hospitals closing the last few years.”

Read the full article here.