Lawyers for hotel seek to transfer slip-and-fall suit to federal court

By Jon Campisi | Oct 15, 2012

Lawyers representing defendants in a premises liability case initiated by a Philadelphia

man are seeking to have the litigation transferred from state to federal court.

Wayne, Pa. attorneys Veronica W. Saltz and Wendy Lappin Barragree filed a Notice of Removal with the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia seeking to transfer the case from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the federal venue.

The two lawyers represent Ashford Philadelphia Annex LLC, Marriott International Inc., Courtyard Management Corp., Courtyard By Marriott Limited Partnership, CBM One Corp., CBM Two Corp. and other subsidiaries.

The defendants are being sued by Philadelphia resident Thomas B. Erekson over allegations that the plaintiff fractured his leg and sustained other injuries after he tripped and fell due to a dangerous and uneven surface, which was the result of an improper joinder of a metal cover plate, concrete and stone surface walkway adjacent to a support pillar for the main entrance of the portico at the Courtyard Marriott located at 21 N. Juniper St. in downtown Philadelphia.

The hotel is located directly across the street from Philadelphia City Hall.

The alleged incident occurred on May 26, 2010.

In his lawsuit, which was initially filed in state court by attorney J. Davy Yockey, Erekson also claims he developed plantar fasciitis, disfigurement, gait dysfunction and damage to his bones, cells, muscles, tissues and nerves as a result of the slip-and-fall incident.

The plaintiff alleges that he has been forced to expend various sums of money on medical treatment, that he has experienced emotional suffering, and that his regular duties have been affected.

In the removal notice, the defendants’ attorneys argue that the matter belongs in federal, not state court because there is diversity in citizenship among the parties and because the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional limits in a Pennsylvania court.


The state case ID number is 120502772.

The federal case number is 2:12-cv-05815-GP.

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