Miller v. Pine Wreath & Candle

/ 06.Oct, 2010
In Miller v. Pine Wreath & Candle, LTD, Phila Ct. Comm. Pl., No. 10-3194 (Sept. 17, 2010) (Tereshko, J.), the Court addressed venue issues in a premises liability case.  The action arose out of a slip and fall in the defendant’s retail establishment.  Judge Tereshko granted the preliminary objections of the defendant and held that venue was not proper in Philadelphia where the defendant’s registered office and principal place of business was in Bucks County; the accident occurred in Bucks County; the defendant did not conduct any business or own any property in Philadelphia County; and there was no evidence that the defendant was located or regularly conducted business in Philadelphia.  Accordingly, venue was transferred to Bucks County.  Judge Tereshko further noted that the Court’s ruling, striking allegations of recklessness, was an interlocutory order.  In this regard, the Court noted that under Rule 311 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure, an order dismissing a theory of recovery is not appealable as of right.  Moreover, Rule 341 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure defines a final order and an order disposing of a count from a multi-count complaint is not a final order.  The Court also noted that there is no separate cause of action in Pennsylvania for punitive damages and thus, striking portions of the complaint relative to punitive damages disposed of a theory of recovery and was not a final and appealable order.  The legal issues are equally applicable to auto cases.