Nicholas Malfitano Feb. 23, 2016, 12:33pm


PHILADELPHIA – A premises liability injury case involving a Philadelphia woman and a Chadds Ford-based apartment complex along with other related entities, has been settled, according to court records.

A filing docketed Tuesday by Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge showed the case as being settled, discontinued and ended. Terms of the final settlement were not disclosed.

Prior to the settlement, counsel for an Aston-based JJD Contracting & Property Maintenance had decided to exit the case, citing an “unreasonable financial burden.”

Meghan F. Henry filed a motion to withdraw appearance on Jan. 15, on behalf of herself and George E. Saba Jr. of Deasey Mahoney & Valentini, in Philadelphia. Henry said Westfield Insurance, the commercial liability insurer for JJD, selected herself and Saba to represent JJD in the initial lawsuit. Henry maintained over a period of two months, from October to December 2015, herself and Saba made a number of unsuccessful attempts to contact JJD’s owner and operator, Joseph Perry.

On Jan. 5, Henry said Westfield advised JJD it was disclaiming coverage in this matter, due to JJD’s lack of contact with its counsel. Meanwhile, Henry and Saba were the recipients of numerous requests from co-defendant Brinkman Group (on behalf of Valleybrook at Chadds Ford Apartments) to accept indemnification and defense for this claim.

On Dec. 30, Brinkman Group served JJD with a request for admissions, which Henry and Saba could not respond to without JJD’s cooperation. Therefore, Westfield directed the attorneys to withdraw from the litigation, advised them they would not continue to pay their legal fees and further advised JJD of the counsel withdrawal.

Henry said due to the case being in an early stage, the withdrawal of counsel could be accomplished without material adverse effect on their client. At that time, Henry also requested a stay of proceedings, in order for JJD to seek new counsel.

The hearing on the withdrawal petition in this matter had been set for Wednesday in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.

On Feb. 11, 2014, plaintiff Jean Carter was on the premises of Valleybrook, when she was allegedly caused to fall due to unsafe and defective conditions in the parking lot. Carter alleged failure on the part of defendants Valleybrook, Sentinel Real Estate Corp. in Philadelphia, Brinkman Group in Newark, Del. and JJD to inspect, maintain or repair the parking lot.

In the accident, Carter allegedly suffered severe injuries to her back, wrist, hip, knee, ankle and extremities, plus shock to her nerves and nervous system.

The plaintiff had been seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest and costs in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Patricia J. Cooney of Segal Berk Gaines & Liss, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by John T. Asher III and George M. Vinci Jr. of Spector Gadon & Rosen, Joshua G. Ferguson and Christopher W. McMullin of Kent McBride, all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150603851

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

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