Nicholas Malfitano Feb. 26, 2016, 12:39pm


PHILADELPHIA – Defense counsel for a garage door manufacturer objecting to the venue chosen in a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff allegedly injured by one of its products has had its motion to dismiss and/or transfer the case out of the state denied.

On Aug. 28, Laurence T. Bennett filed a motion to dismiss the case for reasons of forum non conveniens, but allowing the plaintiffs to refile the matter in a timely manner, in what the defense believes is the proper venue for the case, Burlington County, N.J.

At the time, Bennett said it was in the best interests of justice for the case to be dismissed and heard in another forum, since the cause of action occurred there and the plaintiffs would have until October 2016 to refile the case before the statute of limitations ran out.

Further, Bennett argued that the judicial process and its related costs, plus ease of availability of the parties and witnesses all pointed to a court in Burlington County, New Jersey being a more appropriate venue for the case.

On Thursday, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge denied Bennett's motion.

In October 2014, Murray was contracted to perform home renovations and the installation of an automatic garage door for a residence in Bordentown, N.J. Murray ordered a 16x10-foot door package from Diamond M. Lumber Company, which in turn purchased the assembly from General Doors Corporation in Bristol. The assembly included the garage door and all component parts.

On Oct. 14, 2014, the suit says Murray began the door’s installation process. It required him to stand on an elevated platform scaffold, while a second worker released clips on the garage spring and drum. While standing on the platform, the door opened without warning and knocked Murray off the scaffold, due to a mismatch between the door and the drums, cable and torsion springs, he says.

Murray says he suffered severe fractures of his right arm, wrist, left elbow, fractured teeth, bruised ribs and facial lacerations in the fall, and he and his spouse Susan Murray subsequently sued for strict product liability, negligence and breach of express and implied warranty.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of jurisdictional arbitration limits, plus interest and costs in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Ezra Wohlgelernter and Thomas Martin of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Bennett and Brian L. Calistri of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150701533

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

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