Md. property owners say no one ever told them about eight-year-old arbitration award

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 5, 2015

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia property owners who reside in Maryland claim they were never notified of an eight-year old arbitration judgment entered against them for more than $47,000 in a negligence case in which they were the named defendants.

Carol Swinson, a Philadelphia resident, initially filed litigation in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in September 2006 for a sidewalk fall that occurred two years prior.

Swinson alleged she was walking outside 1601 Jackson Street in Philadelphia on Oct. 22, 2004, when a broken sidewalk caused her to fall. Among a list of numerous injuries, Swinson claimed she sustained a fractured left knee that required surgery, a damaged left hand and nerve damage to her left side.

In addition to alleging “negligence, carelessness and/or recklessness” against the City of Philadelphia for the broken sidewalk, Swinson also filed suit against the owners of the Jackson Street property, Lin Yang Jin and Xu Xuequin, of Silver Spring, Md.

Swinson’s original complaint called for an amount of damages not in excess of $50,000 in this case.

On May 18, 2007, an arbitration award was entered in favor of Swinson and against Jin and Xuequin in the amount of $32,500. The City of Philadelphia successfully filed for a cross-claim removing itself from financial responsibility for the judgment amount.

The matter at dispute is the judgment amount, which was never recovered. Now, eight years later, the defendants claim they were “never aware” of the litigation and never received proper notice of the 2007 judgment amount.

That amount, with interest, now totals $47,576.44, according to court records.

On April 7, the defendants filed a motion to strike the arbitration judgment award from 2007, due to their allegation they were never properly noticed of that decision when it was made.

A hearing for arguments on this matter is set for May 5, in the court’s chambers at Philadelphia City Hall.

The plaintiff is represented by Charles L. Leone, Esq. of the Law Offices of Louis R. Busico of Newtown.

The defendants are represented by Jeffrey P. Curry, Esq. of Philadelphia; Drew Salaman, Esq. of Salaman Grayson & Henry P.C., also of Philadelphia; and James L. Barlow of King of Prussia.

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