PHILADELPHIA – Settlement discussions appear to be ongoing in the case of an 85-year-old New Jersey woman who sued Parx Casino in Bensalem, for injury claims related to a broken leg.

Ann Van Ness sued Parx Casino in March 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for a broken leg she says she suffered at the casino in October 2015.

Ness, 85 and a resident of Neptune City, N.J., said in her lawsuit she was visiting the casino on Oct. 26, 2015 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 complaint said the chairs were stacked so high on the dolly that the employee could not see where he was going.

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, which took her to Aria Health Torresdale in Philadelphia for treatment.

Upon being examined, Ness 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.

Parx Casino filed a motion to dismiss the case in April 2016, but Judge Lawrence F. Stengel denied that motion the following June – concluding Van Ness’s complaint met the required pleading standard.

“Although the facts may later prove at most that the defendant was merely negligent, discovery is necessary to make this determination. Dismissing the plaintiff’s punitive damages claim at this stage would be premature. Therefore, I will deny the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s request for punitive damages,” Stengel’s order from last June stated.

A settlement conference in the case took place on Nov. 22 before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey, but minutes of the discussions are confidential and court records show no resolution of the case has yet been arrived at.

The plaintiff is represented by Erik Snyder and Robert P. Snyder of Snyder Law Group, in King of Prussia.

The defendants are represented by Andrew J. Kramer of Kane Pugh Knoell Troy & Kramer, in Norristown.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:16-cv-01192

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

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