Karen Kidd Apr. 14, 2016, 12:04pm


PHILADELPHIA -- Parx Casino in Bensalem isn't saying much right now about an 85-year-old New Jersey woman's claims that a casino employee ran over her with a dolly of stackable chairs, causing her to fall and break her leg.

"Parx’s policy is not to make comment on pending litigation," the casino's attorney, Andrew J. Kramer of Kane Pugh Knoell Troy & Kramer, said in an email to the Pennsylvania Record.

Parx Casino is owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which also owns and operates other entertainment venues, including turf clubs named in the lawsuit, and offers "phonebet" interactive services for guests. Formerly known as Philadelphia Park Casino, Greenwood was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 2005 and maintains its headquarters in Bensalem.

The casino faces allegations by Ann Van Ness, who filed her lawsuit U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in March, that she suffered injuries at the casino last fall.

Ness, who is 85 and lives in Neptune City, N.J., said she was visiting the casino on Oct. 26 and was leaving with her son when the incident occurred. Ness was about 20 feet outside the main exit door when she was run over by an employee pushing a dolly that contained multiple rows of stackable chairs. The chairs were stacked so high on the dolly that the employee could not see where he was going, according to the complaint.

A Parx Casino security officer, manager and others came to Ness' assistance and helped her into one of the chairs taken from the dolly for her to sit on while she awaited an ambulance, the complaint states. She was taken to Aria Health Torresdale in Philadelphia, where she was found to have a sprain and break in her left leg.

The injury left her unable to walk without an orthopedic appliance and in great pain, according to the complaint.

Ness is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, interest, costs, compensatory damages, punitive damages, interests, disbursements, attorney’s fees and a trial by jury.

Ness' case is not the only one filed by an elderly litigant against Parx Casino so far this year. In a case filed less than a week prior, and in the same court, a former security guard claims he was wrongfully fired and was discriminated against because of his age.

In that lawsuit, 83-year-old John Darrah, who began working as a full-time security officer in May of 2011, was injured when he slipped and fell at his home Aug. 4, 2015 and was on leave until Aug. 19, 2015.

Two days after he returned to work, Darrah claimed he was wrongfully terminated for taking FMLA leave and for an instance in which he leaned on a chair while on duty. Darrah is seeking back wages, front pay and bonuses in excess of $150,000, in addition to liquidated damages, costs, disbursements, attorney’s fees and pre-judgment interest. He also is seeking a jury trial.

It is not clear if Darrah was the security officer involved in the Ness case.

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