Nicholas Malfitano Oct. 21, 2015, 9:42am


PHILADELPHIA – A number of preliminary objections relating to venue and claim sufficiency are pending in the case of a plaintiff allegedly injured by a malfunctioning chair lift.

On July 1, former defense counsel Michael S. Miller Jr. (no longer working on this case) filed a motion for preliminary objections relating to venue, in the lawsuit filed by West Hazleton resident Nikitas Giannakourous against McWilliams Enterprises of Danville and others.

Miller’s motion, filed on Tolan’s behalf, asserted since the accident in question took place in Montour County, 145 miles from Philadelphia, the case should be heard there.

On July 10, William E. Remphrey filed another motion for preliminary objections on behalf of McWilliams Enterprises, asking for the same venue transfer to Montour County for the same reasons.

But, plaintiff counsel Anthony J. Comerota filed a counter-motion on July 21, alleging venue in Philadelphia is proper since the Thyssenkrupp defendants regularly conduct business there.

Comerota’s motion argued since venue is proper in Philadelphia for Thyssenkrupp, that it would thus likewise apply to all defendants, per Rule 1006 (c) (1) of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. Therefore, Comerota wanted the preliminary objections filed on Tolan’s behalf declared legally insufficient and stricken from the record. 

A hearing in this matter was set for this past Monday at Philadelphia City Hall, in Court chambers.

On March 28, 2013, Giannakouros was at the premises in Danville and using a chair lift to descend a flight of stairs. When Giannakouros leaned over to activate the lift, the left armrest slipped and the plaintiff fell down a flight of 20 stairs, the complaint says.

Giannakouros alleges the negligence of the defendants led to his fall, in which he broke multiple bones and suffered a number of lacerations and injuries. Specifically, Giannakouros suffered multiple broken ribs, a fractured right knee and a broken right wrist/right forearm, and was monitored at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for nine days.

The plaintiff sues McWilliams Enterprises and Tolan for negligence, and the Thyssenkrupp defendants for negligence – strict liability and breach of warranty.

The other defendants are Dr. Keith Tolan of Millville; Thyssenkrupp Access Corporation of Grandview, Mo.; Thyssenkrupp USA of Atlanta; plus Thyssenkrupp North America and Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation of Troy, Mich.

The plaintiff is seeking damages, individually, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000 and prevailing arbitration limits, exclusive of pre- and post-judgment interest and costs in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Anthony J. Comerota and Julianne M. Curry, both in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by William E. Remphrey of Margolis Edelstein, Joseph F. Van Horn and Holly L. McReynolds of Fallon Van Horn and Eric J. Assini, all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150303687

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

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