Nicholas Malfitano Feb. 18, 2016, 2:04pm


PHILADELPHIA – As of Wednesday, a premises liability suit between a Cherry Hill, N.J., woman and the Continental Midtown Restaurant in Philadelphia has been settled.

Representing the restaurant and related entities Starr Restaurants and Starr Restaurant Organization, Carol A. Murphy had filed a motion to enforce settlement on Dec. 31. Plaintiff Irene Ankwicz had previously won a $1,000 arbitration award and appealed it. After a settlement conference, Ankwicz’s premises liability suit against the defendants was settled for $3,500.

A final settlement release was then sent to Ankwicz, but she allegedly failed to execute it at the time. The defense claimed to have made inquiries of plaintiff counsel on this issue, who said on Aug. 20 that Ankwicz was waiting on a response from Medicare before proceeding. Murphy pointed out that state law forbids a litigant from agreeing to a settlement and then changing their mind.

Murphy’s settlement enforcement motion directed Ankwicz to execute the settlement release or vacate her appeal of the $1,000 arbitration award and reinstate that same award.

But in the wake of the settlement approval on Wednesday, as noticed by plaintiff counsel James R. Radmore, this enforcement motion was rendered moot. Terms of the final settlement were not disclosed.

On Aug. 18, 2012, the defendants maintained Continental Midtown Restaurant at 1801 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. According to Ankwicz’s suit, she fell on the restaurant premises due to low lighting in a stairway, which she said presented a dangerous condition. Ankwicz allegedly suffered injuries to her knees, legs and heart in the fall.

The plaintiff had been seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus an equal amount in punitive damages in this case. Ankwicz had sought punitive damages due to the defendants' alleged “reckless indifference for [her] rights and safety.”

The plaintiff is represented by Radmore in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Murphy of Margolis Edelstein, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 130502819

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

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