Pedestrian accident at former SugarHouse Casino construction site leads to personal injury lawsuit

By Jon Campisi | Jul 28, 2011

A Harleysville, Pa. man who claims he sustained serious injuries after getting hit by a car while attempting to cross busy Delaware Avenue in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia is suing the contractor who was allegedly responsible for blocking the plaintiff’s view, as well as others.

Attorneys Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Dean R. Phillips and Stuart S. Smith, of the Blue Bell, Pa. law firm Elliot Greenleaf Siedzikowski, filed the personal injury lawsuit July 25 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Benjamin H. Alessi.

Castor is also a Montgomery County, Pa. commissioner.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Bijou, LLC, which operates the Philadelphia nightclubs The Roxxy and The Bamboo Bar; Philip F. Bogatin, Inc.; Daniel J. Keating Construction Co., LLC; Haines & Kibblehouse, Inc.; HSP Gaming, L.P.; Sugarhouse HSP Gaming, L.P., and other subsidiaries of Sugarhouse casino; 1080 Delaware Ave Associates, L.P.; Philadelphia resident Charles Jordan; the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; the Philadelphia Water Department; and the City of Philadelphia.

According to the complaint, Alessi was with some friends on Feb. 14, 2010, attempting to cross North Delaware Avenue opposite of the Roxxy nighclub at about 2 a.m. after the club let out, when a Chevrolet Impala, driven by defendant Jordan, which was traveling northbound on Delaware Avenue, suddenly struck Alessi on his left side, causing “catastrophic, painful and permanent personal injuries.”

At the time of the accident, the group had been attempting to cross the street to get to the plaintiff’s vehicle, which was parked nearby.

At the time of impact, the lawsuit states, the plaintiff and the others were in the right side northbound lane of North Delaware Avenue beyond the defendants’ “created wall of snow, flashing traffic arrow signs and orange and white barrels that obstructed the view of both pedestrians and motor vehicles.”

The now-open Sugarhouse Casino was being constructed at the time of the vehicle accident, which is the reason for the roadwork.

As a result of the accident, Alessi sustained spinal cord injuries requiring surgical decompression and fusion, traumatic closed head injury resulting in a comatose state, occipital bone fracture extending to the foramen magnum, bilateral nasal bone fracture, abrasions, ecchymosis and lacerations to the left cheek and temple; eye swelling, shallow respiration, large road rash abrasions of the scapula and left flank, and a shock to his nervous system, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff has experienced great physical pain, mental anguish, humiliation and emotional distress, the suit claims. Because of the accident, he has been unable to attend to his daily duties and occupation, and has experienced a loss in earnings.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence and carelessness for failing to anticipate the rights and safety of the plaintiff and other pedestrians, failing to exercise care and caution, operating a vehicle in a reckless manner, and violating state and local laws.

For each of the nine counts listed in the lawsuit, the plaintiff demands damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages, attorney’s fees and other relief deemed appropriate.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The case number is 110702380.

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