The question occasionally arises as to what constitutes a proper venue in a medical malpractice action. The standards are the same as those applicable to all other actions stemming from personal injuries or wrongful death, and they are controlled by the provisions of CPLR 503. However, a circumstance sometimes arises in medical malpractice actions where venue is placed based upon a physician’s principal office. A recent decision by the Court of Appeals addressing that circumstance provides the opportunity to examine the venue rules as they apply in malpractice actions.

Appellate Division Background

CPLR 503 sets forth the requirements for proper venue in most lawsuits, with subdivisions (a) through (d) containing the provisions that typically apply in personal injury actions. Subdivision (a) provides for venue “in the county in which one of the parties resided when it was commenced; the county in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred; or, if none of the parties then resided in the state, in any county designated by the plaintiff.”

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