Philadelphia man files injury claim against SEPTA

By Jon Campisi | Oct 18, 2011

A South Philadelphia man who claims he suffered physical injuries after the SEPTA trolley on which he was riding became involved in a collision with another vehicle has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the transit agency, the trolley operator and the driver of the other vehicle.

Attorney Marc F. Greenfield, of the Philadelphia law firm of Spear, Greenfield & Richman, P.C., filed the civil complaint Oct. 14 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of William Reid.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia resident Mandel Fernandez, who was the trolley’s operator, and Florida resident Robert Roush.

According to the complaint, Reid was riding the SEPTA trolley on Dec. 5, 2010 when he became injured after the public transit vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by Roush in the area of Fairfax and Hillcrest roads in Upper Darby Township.

As a result of the accident, Reid sustained bulging discs and disc protrusions, shoulder sprain and strain, lumbar sprain and strain, bilateral knee strain and sprain, aggravation of pre-existing conditions and other ills and injuries, the lawsuit states.

The injuries caused Reid to suffer “great pain, anguish, sickness and agony,” the suit claims, and have also caused him to spend a great deal of money on medical treatment.

Reid has also allegedly suffered a loss of earnings and earning capacity because of his inability to work.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of carelessness, negligence and recklessness for operating their respective vehicles in a careless manner, failing to keep adequate distances from each other, failing to exercising ordinary care to avoid injuring the plaintiff, failing to perceive the highly apparent danger to others which the actions and/or inactions posed, allowing a dangerous, unsafe and defective trolley to be operated on a public highway, and other negligence acts.

For each of the four counts listed in the complaint, Reid demands judgment against the defendants in an amount in excess of $50,000, exclusive of interest, attorney’s fees and other court costs.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The lawsuit was filed the day after Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams and SEPTA officials announced they would be cracking down on false injury claims filed against the public transit agency.

SEPTA claims it has been victimized by transit riders who fake injury in order to collect monetary damages. The agency and the district attorney said the use of surveillance cameras on half of the fleet of buses, trolleys and trains have caught perpetrators in the act.

The case number is 111001659.

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