LeadingAge PA Calls on PA Supreme Court to Reject Venue Shopping Proposal

Citing the potential for devastating premium increases for long-term care facilities, LeadingAge PA, the  voice of not for profit senior services in Pennsylvania, today cautioned against a proposed rule change from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee regarding venue shopping for medical liability claims. The recommendation requires the approval of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

“This decision could lead to the return of the patient-care crisis of the late 20th century, when predator attorneys would move cases to counties that historically provided higher payouts,” said LeadingAge PA President and CEO Adam Marles. “Wisely, the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the courts ended this practice with a requirement that claims be heard in the county where an alleged incident occurred.”

If this common-sense decision is now reversed, long-term care facilities across the commonwealth will once again be forced to devote more and more funds and resources to legal costs, rather than patient care.

“That will only hurt efforts to improve care at a time when even the finest senior care providers are forced to comply with increased government regulations, while the commonwealth fails to provide adequate Medicaid funding,” Marles said. “If this change is approved, the results will be disastrous. Predatory law firms will make Pennsylvania a target, and senior care will suffer. We urge the court to reject this 20th century relic, and continue to support the efforts to improve care for Pennsylvania seniors.”

LeadingAge PA is part of a coalition of organizations united against the repeal of the venue rule, including the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform, the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.