Nicholas Malfitano Apr. 15, 2016, 9:24am


PHILADELPHIA – A personal injury case in which a man alleges he suffered permanent head injuries as a result of an errant collision with a metal boom crane has been transferred to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.

Defense counsel Donald I. Wall filed a motion for preliminary objections on Dec. 23, arguing an improper venue in Kennett Square John and Martha Benintende’s lawsuit against Bala Cynwyd-based defendant, NXT Management (doing business as Next Level Video).

Wall believed the case should be heard in Chester County, since the plaintiffs reside there, the accident happened there and the defendant is based in Montgomery County. Further, Wall argued Benintende sought medical attention in both Chester County and Montgomery County-based facilities, with no apparent connection to Philadelphia County, and that the case was an appropriate one for the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.

On Monday, Judge John M. Younge granted Wall’s transfer motion, sending the case to Chester County court.

Back on June 14, 2014, the suit says the defendant was engaged in its business of recording lacrosse games for coaching, highlight reel and college recruiting purposes at West Chester University, in West Chester.

Benintende was watching the lacrosse game from his seated position in fold-up chair along the sidelines, the suit says, while an employee of the defendant was filming the game using a video camera attached to large metal boom crane featuring a hydraulic lift, and suspended about 30 feet in the air.

Without warning, the crane fell and struck Benintende on the head, knocking him unconscious and causing him to lose a significant amount of blood, he says. Benintende alleges he could not open his eyes or move as a result of the accident, and avers he was tended to by other crowd members on the sidelines until proper medical assistance arrived and transported him to Chester County Hospital.

Benintende allegedly suffered a concussion, a hematoma requiring suturing and stapling, a severe headache, sensitivity to light, extreme fatigue, plus cervical strain and sprain, and underwent treatment for these conditions at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Center – which he says continues to the present day.

Benintende says he sustained “an unsightly and uncomfortable scar, post-concussive syndrome, massive, unrelenting headaches, lost concentration, lost memory, vertigo, hyper-sensitivity to light, sleeplessness, fatigue, emotional issues including anxiety, sadness and irritability, buzzing in his ear and cognitive impairments.”

This led Benintende and his spouse, Martha Benintende, to file suit against the defendant for negligence related to unsafe and improper operation of their filming equipment, which they allege led to this accident, plus loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, delay damages and other relief in this case.

The plaintiffs are represented by Mark C. Cavanaugh of Dugan Brinkmann Maginnis & Pace, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Donald I. Wall and Richard W. Yost of Yost & Tretta, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 151104052

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

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