Gary Samms Discusses UPMC ‘Provision’ that Could Ward Off Effects of the Effects of Med Mal Venue Rule Change

November 03, 2022

Gary Samms, Chair of Obermayer’s Professional Liability Practice Group and the Catastrophic Loss Group, was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer on November 2, 2022. In the article, titled “UPMC ‘Provision’ Could Ward Off Effects of Looming Med Mal Venue Rule Change—If It Can Survive in Court,” Gary discussed a clause in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) patient contract that limits venues where the signer may sue the hospital. Currently, that provision lines up with a 2003 rule limiting where patients can sue providers, but, in 2023, following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s approval of a rule amendment, those limitations are set to disappear.

While the UPMC ‘Provision’ is likely to be challenged, Gary expects the plaintiffs’ bar to aggressively fight UPMC’s venue-restricting provision once the rule change comes into effect. Gary also added that he has not seen other hospitals with clauses like the one in UPMC’s contract, but such a provision could serve as a barrier against plaintiffs searching for a friendlier venue.

“I would expect based on the disappointing decision to change the venue rules that any hospital that has facilities in the suburbs and a hospital in the city should be entertaining this,” Gary said.

Read the full article here.