Superior Court upholds venue decision in med-mal case over childbirth gone wrong

By Chandra Lye | Sep 25, 2018

PHILADELPHIA - The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has sided with a trial court over a question of venue in a medical negligence case. 

Sean and Amy West filed the appeal of a trial court’s order from Nov. 2, 2017, that sustained preliminary objections to venue filed by Abington Memorial Hospital and two employees, according to the court decision.

However, the Superior Court affirmed the lower court decision.

“Upon review, it is our determination that Appellants have failed to establish that the trial court abused its discretion when it sustained Appellees’ preliminary objections to venue and transferred venue from Philadelphia County to Montgomery County.”

“Thus, we conclude that the issue presented by Appellants lacks merit, and the trial court’s opinion adequately addresses Appellants’ claim raised on appeal. Accordingly, we affirm on the basis of the trial court’s opinion and adopt its reasoning as our own.” 

The case stems from an incident at the hospital in February 2007 when Amy gave birth to Juliana. Both mother and baby suffered injuries during the birth. Amy allegedly had a ruptured uterus and Juliana suffered brain damage. The family sued the hospital. 

The couple claim that the use of the drug Pitocin played a role in the harm they suffered. They filed two claims: fraud in inducement and negligence. 

They accuse the hospital of withholding guidelines for the drug’s use that were published in 2006 and included a case study that discussed how the drug’s use could lead to a ruptured uterus and brain damage for the baby. 

Instead, the Wests claim the hospital deliberately gave them 2004 guidelines, which did not include the case study, in an effort to get the couple to settle for less than the case was worth. 

They ended up settling for an undisclosed amount of money. 


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