Can I sue here in PA?

Q: My dad died from seafood poison in New Orleans, while on holiday. Can I sue here in Pittsburgh? I expect to be appointed administrator of dad’s estate – he died without a will. So, I wonder if I can sue here in state court, or federal court and if I win when suing on behalf of dad, what is his wife entitled to? (New Eagle, PA)

A: Sorry for your loss. As far as jurisdiction in which to sue, I think you must likely sue in Louisiana in state court. Federal Court may have jurisdiction if this restaurant has business contacts in PA, for example, if it is a chain establishment with eateries in this state. In that case you could sue in PA Federal Court. I would consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to assess whether you have a case and where to sue. If there is no will his wife is entitled to inherit under PA intestate (no will) law. She therefore would be entitled under his will to the first 30K and then would share one-half of the balance of his estate with his child or children. She may recover additional money under a survivor’s action, but you would need to confirm this with the PI attorney.

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