Nicholas Malfitano Jul. 11, 2016, 2:54pm


PHILADELPHIA – A civil lawsuit from a Harrisburg parent and her minor son resulting from allegations of negligence and sexual abuse at a YMCA summer camp is being transferred to the York County Court of Common Pleas.

Robert L. Sanzo filed a motion for preliminary objections on March 10, seeking a transfer of plaintiffs K.F. and John Doe’s lawsuit to the York County Court of Common Pleas. Sanzo said the defendants, the YMCA of York & York County Pennsylvania and the YMCA of the USA, were based in York County and Chicago, respectively, and had no connection to Philadelphia County.

Sanzo also argued that the YMCA of the USA is a “separate and distinct corporation” from the local YMCA’s cited in this lawsuit.

Michele A. Krengel also filed a motion for the exact same preliminary objections on April 18, and said contrary to what the complaint asserted, the defendants did not enter into contracts or agreements for Philadelphia-based YMCA services.

On July 7, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New sustained the preliminary objections and transferred the matter to the York County Court of Common Pleas.

K.F. alleged her son, Doe, was sexually abused in July of last year by a 13 year-old camper, B.G., at the YMCA’s Camp Spirit, located in York County. K.F. claimed venue was proper in Philadelphia County because YMCA members pay dues to access facilities elsewhere, such as in Philadelphia County.

K.F. said she enrolled her son for the Summer 2015 session at Camp Spirit, while unaware that B.G. had sexually abused a male special needs camper the prior year, in 2014. K.F. explained B.G.’s conduct was reported by counselor Chelsea Pritchett, who in turn reported it to York YMCA President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Richardson, the lawsuit says.

However, K.F. asserted neither of these officials reported B.G.’s abusive conduct to authorities, violating Pennsylvania law in the process. K.F. says if she were made aware of B.G.’s conduct, she would never have enrolled her son Doe at Camp Spirit.

K.F. said B.G. abused her son on July 3, 2015, and was caught by a camp counselor in the process, Kelsey Martin. K.F. said Martin was “unfit” to supervise the campers, given she was under investigation at the time for the death of her own child the previous April. Martin had been charged with concealing the death of a child, according to K.F.

K.F. then reported B.G.’s abusive conduct to the police, over what she said was the objections of the defendants, and she said at that point, Camp Spirit finally reported the previous 2014 incident involving B.G. to the police, the lawsuit says.

K.F. said Doe has suffered nightmares, anxiety, depression and social withdrawal as the result of B.G.’s abuse, and filed a lawsuit against the defendants for negligence and negligence per se, for failing to screen, hire and train employees to properly supervise children, failing to warn K.F. of the abuse committed by B.G. and investigate it, and failure to contact authorities of these events, among other violations.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages, jointly and severally, in excess of arbitration limits, plus punitive damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by Benjamin D. Andreozzi and Nathaniel L. Foote of Andreozzi & Associates, in Harrisburg.

The defendants are represented by Sanzo of Litchfield Cavo in Philadelphia, plus Krengel and Edward J. McGinn Jr. of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, in King of Prussia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 160202416

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

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