Estate of man who died following stairway fall at daughter's home sues his own child

By Jon Campisi | Mar 25, 2013

The adult daughter of a man who died from injuries suffered during a fall at the

defendant’s house is being sued by her late father’s estate for wrongful death.

Maria Gallelli, of Williamstown, N.J., filed suit last week on behalf of the late Domenick B. Gallelli, who died on April 4, 2011, the day after he fell down the stairs at the home of his daughter, Kathleen M. Gallelli.

The complaint, which was filed March 20 at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court by attorney Wayne A. Schaible, of the Philadelphia firm McCann Schaible & Wall, claims that Domenick B. Gallelli died as a result of injuries sustained on April 3, 2011, while visiting his daughter’s home on Moyamensing Avenue in Philadelphia.

The man had allegedly tripped over a defect in the carpeting in the stairway and ended up falling to the bottom of the stairs, where he cracked his head open and went into cardiac arrest, the lawsuit claims.

Domenick Gallelli was transported to the emergency room at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where, after doctors worked to restore his heart rhythm, a CAT scan revealed brain stem bleeding and other trauma to the head, neurological damage that eventually caused the man’s death, according to the complaint.

It was later determined that Domenick Gillelli had also sustained multiple rib fractures during his fall.

The lawsuit accuses Kathleen Gillelli of failing to comply with proper building safety codes, namely by not having a sufficient handrail along the stairway and having an overhanging stairwell wall that was “so low as to constitute a danger to anyone traversing the stairway.”

“Defendant, Kathleen Gallelli, was negligent in failing to ensure that her stairwell complied with appropriate safety and building codes and in failing to warn Domenick Gallelli of a loose carpet on the stairs which resulted in a trip or slip defect known to defendant,” the complaint reads.

The lawsuit says that the deceased man’s family members and children have been deprived of his society, companionship and services.

Domenick Gillelli’s estate has also incurred significant costs due to the victim’s medical treatment following the incident, and it is believed that Medicare will assert a lien for medical bills paid, the lawsuit states.

The estate also incurred funeral and burial costs.

The complaint contains counts of wrongful death and survival action.

The plaintiff seeks more than $50,000 in damages.


The case ID number is 130302804. 

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