Man who filed suit over falling debris at demolition site seeks payment of $25K settlement

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 13, 2015

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia man who claims he was injured by falling debris at an apartment complex where interior demolition was occurring is taking legal action to ensure he receives a promised settlement from the owner of the demolition company.

Demetrius Thornton initially filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in March 2012 versus Post Delmar Partners, LP, its General Partner Michael Pestronk and Kevin Brooks of Kevin T. Brooks Salvage, in connection with an incident that took place on April 2, 2010.

On that day, Thornton claims he was walking on the sidewalk outside the Delmar Morris Apartments on West Chelten Avenue when “negligent, reckless and careless” conduct on the part of the defendants led material from an interior demolition being performed at the site to land on Thornton.

Thornton claimed all defendants were negligent in not properly inspecting the work area, correcting unsafe working conditions at the Delmar Morris Apartments and remedying them, among other allegations.

Thornton alleges the accident left him with multiple hand fractures and a severe arm injury, all of which are permanent and which have caused him to incur thousands of dollars in medical care costs. Thornton also claims to have lost wages as a result of the accident.

On Jan. 13, 2014, the case was settled for $100,000, under the following terms: Post Delmar Partners was to pay the plaintiff $75,000, and Kevin T. Brooks Salvage to cover the remaining $25,000.

According to court records, the payment from Post Delmar Partners was received by the plaintiff and his counsel on Feb. 7, 2014, but no payment had been put forth by Brooks at that time.

An arrangement was then made between the parties in which Brooks would deliver an initial $12,500 of his settlement amount by March 7, 2014, and the remaining $12,500 by April 7, 2014. However, court records further show Brooks had not made the agreed-upon payments by either deadline.

In fact, counsel for the plaintiff claimed an initial payment of $5,000 made by Brooks on March 7, 2014 was returned for “insufficient funds,” according to Bank of America.

Plaintiff counsel then sought Brooks to pay his $25,000 portion of the settlement, plus $2.22 per day in interest from Feb. 28, 2014 to the delivery date of payment, in addition to $1,500 in attorney fees.

By the date of May 27, it was determined Brooks owed $23,056.80, plus an additional $3,052.68. To date, court records indicate no payment has been made by defendant Brooks, and the plaintiff has since filed a motion of sanctions to enforce the settlement payment. That motion was heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday.

The plaintiff is represented by Brad Cooper, Esq. and Jeffrey D. Schaffer, Esq. of Cooper Schaffer, LLC of Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Diana L. Eisner, Esq. of Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzbur, James J. Walsh, Esq. and Lynda M. Volpe, Esq., all of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 120304089

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