N.J. commercial trucking co. facing vehicle injury suit by Phila. couple seeks venue transfer

By Jon Campisi | May 21, 2013

A New Jersey-based commercial trucking company is seeking to transfer a personal

injury suit arising out of a motor vehicle accident in New England in late 2011 from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The suit, originally filed in state court last month, claims that Massachusetts resident Amalier Gonzague-Montij, the driver of the defendant-owned tractor trailer, fell asleep at the wheel while driving along Interstate 84 in Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2011, after which his vehicle rear-ended a vehicle driven by Willie Conyers near a highway off-ramp.

Conyers allegedly sustained various back injuries, along with multiple bruises, lacerations and abrasions, and nervous system shock as a result of the accident.

The plaintiff has incurred numerous expenses relating to his medical treatment, he claims in his civil filing, and the accident has also caused him to experience agonizing pains, aches, mental anguish, humiliation, disfigurement and mobility limitation.

Conyers and his wife, Ericka, who reside in Philadelphia, initially filed their injury claim on April 24 at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.

They are being represented by Philadelphia attorney Kevin P. Kelly, of the firm Kelly & Herron.

On May 15, lawyer Mitchell S. Berger, of the Philadelphia firm Ryan, Brown, Berger & Gibbons, who represents the defendants, Gonzague-Montij and Vineland, N.J.-based National Freight, Inc., filed a notice of removal at the U.S. District Court, which states that the injury litigation belongs in a federal venue because the parties have diversity in citizenship, and the monetary damages sought by the plaintiffs appear to exceed the jurisdictional limit in a Pennsylvania trial court, which is $50,000.

The state case ID number is 130403595 and the federal case number is 2:13-cv-02662-RK. 

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