Illinois Fifth District Appellate Examines Standard Of Review Of Venue Orders. Venue Improper In Vioxx Class Action.

On remand from federal court, plaintiff’s Vioxx class-action complaint landed in St. Clair County, Illinois, a venue known nationwide for big verdicts and class action cases. Defendant moved to transfer venue to Cook County. (Cook is no bargain for defendants, either. That gives you some measure for St. Clair.)

Relying on a 2005 Illinois Supreme Court opinion, the appellate court identified the standard of review for change of venue orders. “[P]roper venue determinations involve separate questions of fact and law … Questions of fact are reviewed for manifest error, and questions of law are reviewed de novo … When there is no dispute concerning the facts relied upon by the court, a de novo standard of review is proper.”

In this case, buying and ingesting the Vioxx in St. Clair County did not overcome the lack of direct dealings between the parties in St. Clair. Venue was not proper in St. Clair County, and the case was transferred to Cook County. See the whole case, Rensing v. Merck and Co., Inc., by clicking here. And here is Corral v. Mervis Industries, the Illinois Supreme Court case Rensing relied on.

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