VENUE IN BRONX CASE STAYS IN BRONX

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York

Case: Alvarez v. Metropolitan Transportation Company

Date: Nov. 17, 2011

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Bronx and Queens; Queens injury lawyer)

Comment: "Venue" means the place (county) where a New York lawsuit is conducted and the trial takes place. Venue can be important to accident victims because some counties have a reputation for having more generous juries than other counties. So part of the game of accident case lawsuits is maneuvering a lawsuit to proceed in a favorable county--which is first chosen by the party that starts the lawsuit (the plaintiff).

There are also procedures for the party defending the lawsuit to ask the court to move venue to a different county if the plaintiff selects (what the defense believes is) an incorrect county. And that is the motion and appeals case about which today I blog.

The accident victim/plaintiff had a choice between the county where the accident happened (Bronx) and the county where the bus company was based (Westchester). No surprise to us lawyers that the Bronx was chosen. The appeals court let the case stay in the Bronx, with the proviso that the defendant might re-apply to move the case to Westchester depending hosw the facts developed later.

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RELATED POSTS:

ACCIDENT VICTIM BEATS BUS CO. SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION ON: (1) SHORT STOP, AND, (2) NEW YORK NO-FAULT "SERIOUS INJURY" THRESHOLD (Posted by Brooklyn injury lawyer Gary E. Rosenberg on Oct 31, 2011)

SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF BLIND PEDESTRIAN KILLED BY LEFT-TURNING BUS (Posted by Brooklyn injury lawyer Gary E. Rosenberg on Jan 14, 2012)

ACCIDENT VICTIM DENIED SUMMARY JUDGMENT; "QUESTION OF FACT" AS TO WHETHER HE WAS ON BUS AT TIME OF ACCIDENT(Posted by Brooklyn injury lawyer Gary E. Rosenberg on Dec 30, 2011)

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Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Betty Owen Stinson, J.), entered November 12, 2010, which, in an action for personal injuries, denied the motion of defendants‑appellants to change venue from Bronx County to Westchester County, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

CPLR 504(1) would ordinarily place venue in Westchester County (see Powers v. East Hudson Parkway Auth., 75 A.D.2d 776 [1980]; see also Chitayat v. Princeton Restoration Corp., 289 A.D.2d 102 [2001]). However, when plaintiff named the Metropolitan Transportation Company as a defendant, a conflict arose between CPLR 504(1) and CPLR 505(a). Thus, the court had the discretion to choose a venue proper for at least one of the parties or claims (CPLR 502). The court did not abuse its discretion when it left venue in Bronx County, where the motor vehicle accident occurred and where defendant bus driver resides. We note that should the record develop sufficiently to establish that the Metropolitan Transportation Company was improperly named as a defendant, the remaining defendants may still move under CPLR 504(1) for a change of venue.

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