Three attorneys for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. have filed a removal
petition in U.S. District Court seeking to have a federal judge take up jurisdiction over an injury lawsuit brought by a suburban Philadelphia couple.
The attorneys – Anne R. Myers, Eileen Monaghan Ficaro and Gregory F. Brown – contend that a complaint initiated earlier this month by Amy and David Yontef of Lafayette Hill, Pa. belongs in federal, not state, court.
The husband and wife are suing Arizona-based P.F. Chang’s over a June 7, 2012, incident at a restaurant owned by the defendant in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County in which Amy Yontef claims she sustained a fractured right leg after falling at the premises.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, says the woman slipped as a result of a “defective condition,” although the suit doesn’t specify what exactly the plaintiff tripped over.
The litigation asserts a negligence claim against the business for failing to maintain the premises in a safe condition, failing to warn patrons of the dangerous condition, failing to provide customers with a safe means of ingress and egress to and from the premises, and failing to exercise due care.
As a result of her fall, Amy Yontef sustained a fractured right patella requiring surgical repair, as well as other injuries to her bones, muscles, ligaments and discs.
She also experienced pain and suffering and suffered earnings losses due to her inability to work while recovering from her medical procedures.
The plaintiffs, who are being represented by Conshohocken, Pa. attorney Stuart A. Carpey, say they are seeking $50,000 in damages.
In the removal notice, the defense attorneys state that the plaintiffs have since stipulated that their demand for damages in the case exceeds $75,000, which would trigger federal court oversight.
The defense team is also seeking to remove the case to the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia based on the doctrine of diversity jurisdiction.
The defense attorneys are with the Blue Bell, Pa. firm of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck.
The state case ID number is 131203850 and the federal case number is 2:14-cv-00163-ER.