Supermarket slip-and-fall suit transferred to federal court in Philadelphia

By Jon Campisi | Sep 22, 2011

A civil action filed this summer against two supermarkets has been moved from Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The complaint, first filed in August by Philadelphia attorney Adam D. Wilf on behalf of Mary and Jimmy Smith of Willingboro, N.J., accuses Minnesota-based Supervalu Inc. and Paoli, Pa.-based Acme Markets Inc. of negligence for allowing a slippery substance to exist on the floor of the Acme market on Route 130 in Willingboro on a mid October day back in 2009.

Supervalu Inc. is listed as the owner of the property in question.

The condition on the premises caused Mary Smith to sustain serious injuries when she came into contact with the slippery substance.

Specifically, she suffered various internal injuries, along with aches, pains, mental anxiety and anguish, according to the original complaint, which is attached as an exhibit to the Notice of Removal, filed Sept. 20 at federal court in Philadelphia by attorney Elizabeth A. Chalik, an attorney for the defendants who practices with Marks, O’Neill, O’Brien & Courtney P.C.

The notice states the case is being transferred because the parties embroiled in the litigation are all from different states.

Also, while the original complaint says the Smith’s are demanding judgment in a sum in excess of $50,000, which is the jurisdictional limit at Common Pleas Court, the defense in its removal notice alleges that the amount in controversy is actually in excess of $75,000.

In her original complaint, Mary Smith accuses the defendants of negligence and carelessness for allowing a hazardous and dangerous condition to exist on the premises, and failing to warn shoppers of the slippery surface at one of the store’s aisles.

The complaint states that Mary Smith had to expend large sums of money on medical attention, she was prevented from attending to her regular duties and activities and she suffered physical pain, mental anxiety and humiliation as a result of her fall.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05945-NS.

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