Nicholas Malfitano Aug. 20, 2015, 10:30am


PHILADELPHIA – A defendant landlord in a negligence and assault case claimed improper service of the complaint filed against it, and felt it cannot be held liable for the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

Daniel R. Gage filed preliminary objections on June 8, claiming Moorestown, N.J.-based K&A Investments was never properly served with a complaint initiated by Jameson resident Srebrina Diandrea in February, since the complaint was supposedly served upon the property tenant and not the landlord. 

Gage further claimed Diandrea’s complaint against Kenny Poon, owner of the Tango Lounge in the Philadelphia, failed to state a claim for dram shop liability and therefore, the Philadelphia-based Tango Lounge could not be found liable for the charges Diandrea listed in her lawsuit – assertions which are vigorously opposed by plaintiff counsel.

Further proceedings in this matter were heard on Aug. 13 in Philadelphia City Hall, in Court chambers.

Diandrea’s lawsuit against Poon, K&A Investments, Philadelphia resident Jennifer Lopez and West Chester resident Hana Jo, filed in February, is in connection with an incident that took place at the Tango Lounge in summer of last year.

On June 24, 2014, Diandrea, Lopez, Jo and about a dozen other patrons met at Tango Lounge for a social event, and reserved a private room with bottle service, the complaint says.

The party received two bottles of vodka, according to the lawsuit, which says Lopez and Jo had imbibed alcoholic beverages elsewhere prior to their arrival at Tango Lounge.

The suit alleges Lopez and Jo were “visibly intoxicated, falling down, screaming, pouring vodka into people’s mouths and simulating erotic lap dances," but were served an additional bottle of vodka by Tango Lounge staff and the party in the private room continued.

Just after 2 a.m., Diandrea, who claimed to have had only one drink during the duration of the evening, attempted to leave the party, the complaint says. At this point in time, Diandrea alleged Lopez struck her from behind in a “cowardly” manner, and was then joined by Jo in assaulting the plaintiff.

After other guests of the party separated Diandrea from Lopez and Jo, the suit claims Lopez and Jo followed Diandrea outside Tango Lounge and continued to assault her. This resulted in Diandrea falling and hitting her head on the sidewalk, after which Lopez and Jo continued to pummel her, uninterrupted by Tango Lounge staff and security, the complaint says.

As a result of the altercation, Diandrea says she suffered periorbital ecchymosis, headaches, bruising, contusions, scarring and abrasions about the face, arms, neck, back and legs, in addition to suffering nervous system shock and psychological injuries.

Diandrea alleged negligence on the part of the business defendants in this litigation through their alleged overserving of Lopez and Jo, plus violations of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code and Pennsylvania Liquor Code.

The suit levied claims of negligence, carelessness and recklessness against all defendants, both for the alleged assault and failing to stop it, along with specific separate charges against Lopez and Jo. Those charges included assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiff is seeking judgment jointly and severally, in an amount in excess of $50,000, plus interest, court costs and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Gregory S. Shields of the Law Offices of Gregory S. Shields, in Media.

The defendants are represented by Clark W. Pease in Philadelphia, Gage of The Gage Firm in Media, David A. Klein in Haddonfield, N.J. and Annmarie G. Flores in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150200339

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

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