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Rahn v. Consolidated Rail Corop.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

April 29, 2021

In Rahn v. Consolidated Rail Crop., the Pennsylvania Superior Court revisited the issue of forum non conveniens. A former trainmaster filed suit against the defendant, claiming that his cancer resulted from exposure to toxic chemicals at work and that the defendant was negligent in failing to provide him with a reasonably safe workplace. The trainmaster worked at railyards in the Rust Belt, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. He now lives in Chicago and admitted that he was not exposed to toxins while employed in Pennsylvania. Nonetheless, he filed suit in Philadelphia. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens. Before reaching the merits, the Superior Court rejected the defendant’s argument that all claims were waived because the plaintiff-appellant failed to serve the trial court with the statement of matters complained of on appeal. The Court held that, because the trial court’s order did not order it to be served or provide the location where service could be effectuated, waiver was not an appropriate remedy. The Superior Court then affirmed the trial court’s order dismissing the claim.

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