Justice Department lawyers have filed a removal notice in federal court in Philadelphia seeking to transfer a personal injury case arising from a motor vehicle accident involving an FBI agent from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where the suit was initially filed, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Hutchinson and Gregory David filed the notice of removal March 19 at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its employee, James M. Kearney.
The personal injury lawsuit was originally filed by Springfield, Pa. attorney Paul F. D’Emilio on behalf of Bloomington, IL-based State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company as subrogee of Nathan Twersky, who was rear-ended by Kearney in a March 9, 2010 incident along Norwalk Road in Philadelphia.
The suit claims that Kearney was acting in the scope of his employment with the FBI at the time of the vehicle collision.
The lawsuit accuses Kearney of negligence for failing to have his motor vehicle under proper control, operating at an excessive rate of speed, failing to operate the vehicle in accordance with existing conditions and operating his vehicle without due regard for the rights and safety of Twersky.
The complaint also throws blame at the FBI for negligently entrusting a company vehicle to what it calls an incompetent driver.
State Farm demands judgment against the defendants in an amount not to exceed $50,000, together with the costs of the suit.
The suit states that repair costs to Twersky’s vehicle totaled $5,026.67.
The complaint does not specifically spell out any physical injuries that Twersky may have suffered because of the vehicle accident.
In the removal notice, the two U.S. attorneys state that venue is proper at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania because, as an agency of the United States government, the FBI should face suit in federal court.
The federal case number is 2:12-cv-01381-PBT.