PAMED Testifies at Pa. Senate Hearing on Proposal to Change Medical Liability Venue Rule

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2020

On Sept. 8, 2020, Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Lisa Baker led a hearing to review the February 2020 report of the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee (LBFC) entitled “A Study of the Impact of Venue for Medical Professional Liability Actions.”

Capitol-Day-articleThe LFBC report studied the potential effects of a proposed Pa. Supreme Court venue rule change – which PAMED and its coalition of stakeholders vehemently oppose – that would allow medical liability lawsuits to take place outside of the county where the alleged malpractice occurred.

PAMED believes that if the current, commonsense venue rule is changed, this has real potential to return our state to the medical liability crisis of the early 2000s, decreasing access to care for patients and driving up health care costs.

View this agenda for the hearing, which includes links to written versions testimony from panelists in attendance.

PAMED Board Chair John Gallagher, MD, attended the hearing and testified on behalf of PAMED. Read a copy of Dr. Gallagher’s testimony. PAMED Board of Trustees member Mark Lopatin, MD, also shared this written testimony with lawmakers.

Additional Resources

View a copy of the LFBC’s report on venue here. And, check out PAMED’s detailed analysis of the report here.

For more information on PAMED’s advocacy to oppose changes to the current venue rule, visit

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  1. Charles Sutton | Sep 10, 2020

      I trained as a physician in Philadelphia in the 1990's, then returned to practice in Pennsylvania in 1999, saw the damage that the old venue switching rule was doing to medical care in Pennsylvania and thought about leaving for a state with a better system of justice for injured patients and their physicians.

      My colleagues worked hard to keep their practices alive in Pennsylvania, and succeeded in improving opportunities for patient care that have continued to attract excellent physicians to our state. 

      Dr. Gallagher has outlined the truth about problems with switching venues to places that are burdensome to our practice of medicine. Nobody wants to increase their risk of becoming sick from these gatherings, especially in this time of Covid-19 pandemic. My brother is an attorney and does not want to commit any acts that increase the chance of infection for himself or his clients. He says how he does not understand why we physicians would put ourselves on the front line for becoming sick, and how there is no predicting when another epidemic will occur. 

      We want the best physicians to practice here in Pennsylvania and keep attracting the very best, even as I see doctors on the front line die from Covid-19. I urge our hard working legislators to keep the current system in place, and work on keeping the highest level of medical care in Pennsylvania.


                                              -  Charles Sutton MD


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