PHILADELPHIA – An apartment complex found through arbitration to owe a $50,000 judgment to a former tenant who alleges he fell on its property has petitioned to vacate that ruling in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

Terrance Lewis alleges he was walking on the property of the Walnut Lane Apartments on Jan. 21, 2011, when he tripped and fell as a result of coming into contact with a set of broken steps and stairway – which his counsel labeled as a “dangerous and defective condition.”

Lewis filed suit against the apartment complex and its management company in August 2011, alleging negligence on their part in not recognizing and repairing the broken steps that led to his fall.

Lewis further alleged he suffered serious and permanent injuries in the 2011 fall, including but not limited to, disc injuries requiring surgical repair, cervical laminectomy and disc fusion, plus left shoulder and left ankle strain and sprain.

It is the belief of Lewis and his counsel that he incurred large medical costs, suffered a loss of earnings and earnings power, plus suffered “medically determinable physical and mental impairment” as a result of the accident.

In October 2013, arbitrators entered a judgment in Lewis’ favor and against Walnut Lane Apartments, in the amount of $50,000. However, the defendants claimed through their counsel that they were never made aware of or properly noticed regarding this judgment until sometime the following year.

At that time, Walnut Lane Apartments said it attempted to obtain insurance and was denied.

As a result of this and the supposed improper notice, the defendants petitioned in March for an opening and vacating of the previously made $50,000 judgment against them.

The plaintiff demands judgment jointly and severally in this matter, for an amount in excess of arbitration limits, plus interest and court costs.

A hearing on this matter was held May 18 at the court chambers in Philadelphia City Hall.

The plaintiff is represented by Keith W. Kofsky, Andrew C. Smialowicz and Frank Bizzari, III of Clearfield & Kofsky in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Dean E. Weisgold, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 110801100

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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