Hewlett Packard moves for venue transfer in Phila. motor vehicle accident case

By Jon Campisi | May 10, 2013

An attorney representing Hewlett Packard and one of its employees have moved to

transfer a personal injury claim initiated by a Philadelphia woman from state to federal court.

Philadelphia resident Krista Aigeltinger filed suit against the Palo Alto, CA-based company and employee Steven Doherty, a New Jersey resident, late last month at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The woman claims she became injured on June 24, 2011, at about 2 in the afternoon, when Doherty, a driver for the defendant, rear-ended the plaintiff’s vehicle at the intersection of Aramingo Avenue and York Street in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section.

The plaintiff accuses Doherty of negligence for operating a vehicle at an excessive rate of speed, failing to have a vehicle under proper control, failing to apply brakes in order to avoid a collision, and failing to observe traffic signals.

Aigeltinger claims she sustained back injuries due to the crash, which have caused her “great pain and agony,” and have required her to spend money on medical attention.

While the lawsuit doesn’t say as much, the intersection where the accident occurred is equipped with traffic light cameras, a technology that is designed to catch those running red lights.

The technology is controversial because opponents of the system contend it increases rear-end collisions, since drivers are more likely to slam on their brakes to avoid a traffic citation.

This particular lawsuit, however, doesn’t mention whether or not the traffic camera had anything to do with the crash that is the basis for the complaint.

The suit was filed by Philadelphia lawyer Andrew W. Gaber.

On May 9, Philadelphia attorney Warren F. Sperling, of the firm Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg, filed court papers seeking to transfer the litigation to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, writing that the matter belongs in the federal venue because the amount in controversy would likely exceed the jurisdictional limit in state court.

The jurisdictional limit at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is $50,000; the defense attorney maintains the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000.

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-02545-CDJ.

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