Ross Feller Casey recently won a major appellate court decision that will allow an upcoming wrongful death case to be heard in Philadelphia instead of outside the city.

The case involves 17-month-old Gianna Tomlinson who died as a result of a medical misdiagnosis and overdosing, according to the lawsuit filed by Ross Feller Casey founding partner Joel Feller.

The child went to Lehigh Valley Hospital with difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with a respiratory infection. But on a subsequent visit to Sacred Heart Hospital, she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and flown to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There, she was given a lethal overdose of sedatives, the suit alleges.

Originally, a Philadelphia judge sided with Sacred Heart and its pediatric neonatologist who sought to have the case moved to Lehigh County. They argued that, among other things, holding the trial in Philadelphia would cause an undue burden on the Allentown hospital.

The Superior Court, however, found that the lower court erred and returned the case to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Feller told The Legal Intelligencer that he was pleased with the ruling.

“This well-reasoned appellate decision is important in that it will serve to prevent trial courts throughout the Commonwealth from improperly transferring cases," Feller said, “ … and reinforces the long-established deference granted to a plaintiff in Pennsylvania to bring a cause of action for medical malpractice in any procedurally proper venue of his or her choosing.”

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