Attorneys representing LA Fitness in a personal injury case initiated in Philadelphia have petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to instead hear the case.
Philadelphia lawyer Norman W. Briggs, of the Briggs Law Office, filed a notice of removal on March 26 seeking to transfer a negligence action from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the federal venue.
The case was initiated on Feb. 27 by West Chester, Pa. residents Kevin M. Rulis and his wife, Benedicte E. Duchen-Rulis.
The plaintiffs allege that Kevin Rulis became injured on July 13, 2012, after slipping and falling inside an LA Fitness racquetball court due to a leaking and improperly functioning heating ventilation and cooling system in the gym.
Kevin claims that as a result of slipping on the moist, dusty and dirty floor surface, he sustained a torn Achilles tendon and other physical injuries.
The plaintiff asserts that he has had to undergo medical treatment as a result of his fall, and that he will continue to incur various expenses relating to his care.
Briggs wrote that the matter belongs in federal court because none of the members of LA Fitness or Fitness International LLC, the two defendants named in the complaint, are Pennsylvania citizens, and because the amount of damages sought by the plaintiffs exceeds the jurisdictional limit of a Pennsylvania state court.
The record shows that the alleged incident occurred at the LA Fitness location at 109 Quarry Road in Downingtown, Pa.
The plaintiffs are being represented by Philadelphia attorney Richard K. Washington, Jr.
The defense removal notice notes that while the plaintiffs personally served Fitness International LLC with a copy of the complaint on March 11 at the Downingtown location, despite repeated requests to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the defense has been unable to obtain an actual copy for the Sheriff’s Affidavit of Service.
Still, the removal request is being filed within 30 days of the date of service of the complaint, Briggs wrote.
The state case ID number is 130202966 and the new federal case number is 2:13-cv-01582-BMS.