Nicholas Malfitano Feb. 26, 2016, 12:37pm


PHILADELPHIA – The defense in a slip-and-fall case seeks the suit to be transferred to Montgomery County on a basis of improper venue, while the plaintiff’s counsel countered this request was “untimely” and should not be considered.

Jeffrey W. McDonnell filed a motion for preliminary objections on Sept. 30, arguing plaintiff Florence Roeder of Norristown agreed any litigation relating to the subject incident would be filed in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. This is based on Roeder’s residence in Montgomery County along with the subject action itself occurring there, in addition to a lack of minimum contacts with Philadelphia County.

In opposition, E. Merritt Lentz filed his own motion for preliminary objections on Oct. 21, desiring McDonnell’s preliminary objections to be stricken as untimely. Lentz asserted per the law, defendants are required to respond to the filing of a lawsuit with preliminary objections within 20 days – thus giving the defendants a deadline of Sept. 17 of last year with which to file that motion.

However, since McDonnell’s motion was filed on Sept. 30, Lentz argued the motion was filed 13 days late, without any justification or excuse on the part of defense counsel.

Lentz said the late filing of the preliminary objections amounted to a waiver of those same objections, and were “untimely, procedurally-defective and fail to conform to the rules of the Court.”

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

On Jan. 21, 2014, Roeder allegedly tripped and fell due to a defective condition on the premises of The Meadows at Shannondell in Audubon. Specifically, the alleged condition consisted of loose components and hardware from a wheelchair left on the floor of Roeder’s room, by the defendants and their agents. Roeder alleged a failure to inspect, maintain or clear the premises on the part of the defendants led to her fall and resulting injuries.  

The plaintiff is seeking damages for negligence in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages, costs and other relief in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Lentz of Golkow Hessel, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by McDonnell, of the Law Office of Peter A. Callahan, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150800400

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

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