Wentzel v. Cammarano, 166 A.3d 1265 (Pa. Super. 2017)

Superior Court allows case to be venued in Philadelphia County, despite location of patient in Berks County.

The plaintiff’s allegation was not that the cardiologist failed to properly interpret the echocardiogram or made any misdiagnoses of the plaintiff’s condition. Rather, the allegation was that the cardiologist failed to timely return the results of the echocardiogram to Reading Hospital, which amounted to a failure to timely diagnose. Under the theory that the failure to timely diagnose occurred in Philadelphia County, the plaintiff sought to have his lawsuit venued in Philadelphia.

The trial court granted the defendants’ preliminary objections and transferred venue to Berks County. The Superior Court, however, overturned the trial court and found that venue was proper in Philadelphia County. Ignoring the premise that the location where services are rendered should be determined by the location of the patient, not the health care professional, the Wentzel court found that the plaintiff’s allegation that the Philadelphia cardiologist’s failure to return her report to Reading Hospital in a timely fashion constituted “furnishing services” in Philadelphia. As such, the case was allowed to proceed in Philadelphia County despite the fact that the patient, at the point when the cardiologist received the report, interpreted it and sent it back to Reading Hospital, had never set foot in Philadelphia County.


Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2018

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