Nicholas Malfitano Oct. 5, 2015, 9:54am


PHILADELPHIA – Attorneys for a pizza shop driver and his employers filed a number of preliminary objections that may result in the dismissal of a negligence lawsuit, or its transfer to Lycoming County.

Steven M. Liero filed a motion for preliminary objections on June 19, asserting Domino’s Pizza did not employ the pizza shop driver, defendant Collin Hawley, and the accident he and the plaintiff were involved in did not take place in Philadelphia County. Rather, it took place in Lycoming County -- about 185 miles from Philadelphia County.

Liero argued the case should be heard in Lycoming County or at least in Northampton County, where another defendant, Milton’s Pizza, is located.

Kevin R. McNulty supplemented that petition when he filed a separate motion for preliminary objections on June 22, pointing out an identical case to the instant action was already taking place in Lycoming County (Case No. 2013-01985).

According to McNulty, filing identical actions in separate jurisdictions violates the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure (PRCP). Based on that supposed violation, McNulty pushed for dismissal of the instant complaint with prejudice or, alternatively, its transfer to Lycoming County.

Stephen E. Moore filed a third motion for preliminary objections on Aug. 3, explaining, per PRCP, an action can only take place where the cause of action occurred or where the parties are based. Moore also sought transfer of the case to Lycoming County.

A hearing in this matter is set for Wednesday at Philadelphia City Hall, in court chambers.

Plaintiff James Dennis alleges on July 10, 2013 he was walking on the 700 block of West Fourth Street in Williamsport when Hawley’s vehicle struck him. Hawley, a driver at a local pizza restaurant, allegedly was on the job when the accident took place. The plaintiff alleges Hawley was driving negligently, inattentively and speeding.

Dennis sustained injuries to his head, neck, back, face and extremities, including a 4-centimeter occiput laceration requiring staples, multiple scalp lacerations, multiple facial abrasions, loss of consciousness, chest lacerations, head trauma, lumbar strain and sprain, memory loss, speech impediment and muscle spasms.

Dennis filed suit in May, levying charges of negligence against all defendants and negligent entrustment against all defendants minus Hawley. The plaintiff is seeking a sum, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000 from all defendants in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Marc I. Simon of Simon & Simon in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Kevin R. McNulty and Daniel T. Lewbart of Gerolamo McNulty Divis & Lewbart in Philadelphia; Steven M. Liero of Connor Weber & Oberlies in Paoli; plus Stephen E. Moore of Zirulnik Sherlock & Demille in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150503498

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

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