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Date: 07-28-2023

Case Style:

Minal Ashokkumar Patel, et al. v. Central Utah Clinic, et al

Case Number: 2:19-cv-00542

Judge: Ted Stewart

Court: United States District Court for the District of Utah (Salt Lake County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: C. Eric Nielson, Mark W. Dahl, Todd Wahlquist

Defendant's Attorney: Chelsey E. Phippen and Shawn McGarry

Description: Salt Lake City, Utah personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiff who sued the Defendants on medical malpractice theories.

Plaintiffs Minal Patel and Dilipkumar Patel (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) bring this case on behalf of themselves and their seven-year-old child, I.P., who was born with hypoxia in Kane County, Utah. On July 30, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Defendants Central Utah Clinic, Kane County Human Resources Special Service District, Revere Health, and Johnathan Bowman, M.D. (collectively, “Defendants”) alleging medical negligence for healthcare services provided prior to and during I.P's birth. The case was assigned to the Central Division of the District of Utah.

In civil cases, the Clerk of Court assigns case numbers and locations for holding court based on three criteria provided in the JS44 Civil Cover Sheet (“Civil Cover Sheet”). The three criteria are considered in the following order:

(1) The location of the land involved in an eminent domain case;

(2) “County of Residence of First-Listed Plaintiff” if that plaintiff resides in the District of Utah; or

(3) If the plaintiff is the United States or the first-listed plaintiff does not reside in the District of Utah, then “County of Residence of Residence of First Listed Defendant” if that defendant resides in the District of Utah.[4]

Here, the first and second criteria are inapplicable because the case does not involve eminent domain and the Plaintiffs are residents of Bristol County, Massachusetts.

The Clerk of Court correctly looked to the third criterion when it assigned the case to the Central Division. On the Civil Cover Sheet, the first listed Defendant is Central Utah Clinic with its county of residence listed as Utah County, Utah.[5] The Central Utah Clinic is a registered corporation in Utah County.[6] Because Utah County is located within the Central Division, [7] the Clerk of Court correctly assigned the case to that division.

Furthermore, even if Defendants were correct that this matter was improperly assigned to the Central Division, reassignment to the Southern Region would not serve the Fourth Amended General Order's goal to “secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination” of this action.[8]

The Fourth Amended General Order lists several factors the Court considered in establishing the Southern Region, including “convenience to the parties, witnesses, victims, defendants, and their families.”[9] The Court is not persuaded that reassigning this case to the Southern Region would be convenient for disposition of the action. Although some Defendants reside in Kane County, for the past two years Defendants have not demonstrated any inconvenience from litigating this matter in Salt Lake City. The parties have participated in mediations and discovery in Salt Lake City and medical records have been transferred to Salt Lake County. Lastly, because Plaintiffs and their potential witnesses reside across the United States, Salt Lake City is more accessible than St. George for relevant out-of-state travel. For the foregoing reasons, the case will remain in the Central Division.

Outcome: 07/28/2023 160 Stipulated MOTION to Dismiss with Prejudice filed by Plaintiffs Dilipkumar Sitarambhai Patel, Minal Ashokkumar Patel. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Order Granting Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice)(Dahl, Mark) (Entered: 07/28/2023)
07/28/2023 Civil Case Terminated per 160 Motion to Dismiss and chambers. Magistrate Judge Jared C. Bennett no longer assigned to case. Case closed. (mh) (Entered: 07/28/2023)

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