Nicholas Malfitano Jul. 21, 2015, 12:37pm


PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia motel and its New Jersey-based ownership entity named in a negligence lawsuit have been ordered to comply with the terms of a settlement reached March 2, per a state court judge.

Judge Linda A. Carpenter ordered Tuesday that defendants Liberty Motel in Philadelphia and Roselle Park, N.J.-based Germantown Liberty were liable for judgment in the amount of $5,750.00, and to pay the amount to Philadelphia residents Durven Dawes and his minor son, Dakarai Dawes, within seven days or face further sanctions, such as contempt of court.

In addition, the defendants would pay an annual interest rate of six percent in the event of any delays, and attorney’s fees for plaintiff counsel G. Lawrence DeMarco in the amount of $557.68, according to Carpenter.

According to court records, the defendants had supposedly pledged to provide the funds in April, but did not fulfill that promise. This led the Dawes’ and their counsel to file a motion to enforce the settlement on May 27.

The Dawes’ April 2014 lawsuit alleges on May 1, 2013, they were guests at the Liberty Motel in Philadelphia for a period of two nights, since Dawes planned to appear at an art show during that time. Dawes and his son were sleeping in their room’s beds, when they were awakened by “painful and scarring” bed bug bites. Those bites were so searing, they required immediate medical attention, the plaintiffs claim.

Dawes claimed to incur transportation costs for that medical care, in addition to property damage to his artwork, through “lost art, merchandise, earnings and sales income.”

The suit states the negligence of Liberty Motel and Germantown Liberty in not ensuring their premises were safe for guests or warning guests of the presence of bed bugs makes them liable for this incident.

The plaintiffs were originally each seeking judgment not in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiffs are represented by G. Lawrence DeMarco, of DeMarco & DeMarco in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Bart E. Levy in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140403824

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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