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James v. Wal-Mart Distrib. Ctr. , 2024 Pa. Super. LEXIS 31, 2024 WL 389020 (February 2, 2024) (Dubow, J.).

Appellant Elaine James seeks review of an order transferring venue of a slip and fall case in Philadelphia, Lehigh County, based on forum non conveniens. The court reversed. Ms. James was working for a contractor at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. She slipped and fell on a slippery substance. The accident occurred at Bethlehem, and she received her medical care in Lehigh County. She filed negligence actions against Wal-Mart in Philadelphia County. The matter was transferred, claiming that Philadelphia was an oppressive forum. Appellant also filed suit against several other defendants, including a cleaning service located in Bethlehem.

Wal-Mart complained about the commute from Philadelphia to their homes in Northampton County. The court found the change of venue was an abuse of discretion based upon the case law. Defendants did not satisfy the requirement that they identify their defenses and the witnesses who support their defenses. The court erred in overriding the deference which it was obligated to provide to Ms. James’ choice of forum. Accordingly, it was reversed.