A Jurisdiction Question- When Parties Are From Different States

Date: March 10, 2009

Slim Jenkins was crossing Main Street in downtown Honesdale in front of the post office on a specially designated area marked as a pedestrian crossing. Main Street was particularly busy because the summer camps were starting to close, and many parents were picking up their campers and returning home. Big Al and his wife, Debbie, from Manhattan had just picked up their son and were heading south on Main Street. Al was looking for a place to stop to get a bite to eat and did not notice Slim crossing the street. It was too late when Al noticed Slim. Al ended up hitting Slim dead on, throwing Slim about ten feet in the air.

Poor Slim suffered fractures of his left hip and arm as well as other injuries. If it wasn\’t for the expert care that Slim received from the orthopedic surgeon at Wayne Memorial, Slim\’s injuries may have been permanent.

Issue: Where could Slim bring a lawsuit to recover from his pain and suffering?

Answer: Because of the fact that Big Al was from New York State, Slim would be able to bring a lawsuit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Federal Court. This is because there is what is called diversity of citizenship as Big Al was from New York and Slim was a resident of Pennsylvania, and the amount in controversy is in excess of $75,000.00 as a result of the serious nature of Slim\’s injuries. Slim could also bring a lawsuit in County Court in Honesdale or even in the court which would have jurisdiction where Big Al lives. In this case, Slim\’s attorneys will certainly file suit in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the trial will take place in Federal Court in Scranton.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.