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Philadelphia Team Obtains Dismissal in Premises Liability Action

October 2, 2013

Jonathan Dryer (Partner-Philadelphia) and Wendy Testa (Partner-Philadelphia) represented a national hotel chain in a premises liability action pending in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The plaintiff, a guest at one of the hotel’s Miami properties, claimed that he sustained serious injuries as a result of a slip and fall on the premises. The plaintiff, a Pennsylvania resident, sued the hotel in Pennsylvania, which applies a two-year negligence statute of limitations, rather than Florida, which has a four-year negligence state of limitations. 

Wilson Elser moved for dismissal on the grounds that Pennsylvania’s Borrowing Statute barred the plaintiff’s claims. In response, the plaintiff moved for a transfer of venue to Florida.  The defendant's motion to dismiss was granted, and the plaintiff's motion to transfer venue was denied as a result of the court’s application of the choice of law rules of the forum state, Pennsylvania. The court found that a plaintiff injured outside of Pennsylvania, suing in Pennsylvania, is subject to the statute of limitations which first bars the claim under Pennsylvania’s Borrowing Statute.

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