COURT OF APPEALS HOLDS PROPER VENUE IS WHERE THE ALLEGED NEGLIGENCE OCCURS, NOT WHERE THE PLAINTIFF EXPERIENCES HARM

 

By David Kramer | dkramer@dbllaw.com

 

In O’Bannon v. Allen, 337 S.W.3d 662 (Ky. App. 2011) (http://opinions.kycourts.net/coa/2010-CA-000695.pdf), the Kentucky Court of Appeals, in an opinion authored by Judge Michelle Keller, upheld a trial court’s order dismissing a professional negligence action for improper venue where the plaintiff sued in the county where the patient experienced harm rather than the county where the allegedly negligent medical treatment occurred. In O’Bannon, the plaintiff had received narcotic prescriptions in Ohio County, then went home to Muhlenberg County where he abused the drugs and ultimately suffered a fatal overdose. The family brought suit in their home county of Muhlenberg and claimed the defendant physician was notified twice that the patient was abusing the drugs and negligently failed to stop him from refilling the prescriptions. The trial court dismissed, finding that Ohio County was the proper venue. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the trial court had correctly applied the Kentucky venue statute for personal injury, KRS 452.460(1), which requires a suit for personal injury to be brought “in the county where the defendant resides, or in which the injury is done.”

 

The decision did not mention the venue transfer or “savings” statute, KRS 452.105, which was enacted in 2000, and which requires a trial court on motion to transfer the action to a proper venue for the action rather than dismissing it.

 

David Kramer is a Northern Kentucky attorney practicing at Dressman Benzinger LaVelle psc.

 

Subscribe to the DBL Civil Litigation blog.

 

Comments are closed.