Counsel for plaintiff suing over fall at Philadelphia community center withdrawing from case

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 10, 2015

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia man suing a pair of management service companies and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a fall sustained in a city community center will need to seek new counsel.

Attorney Valerie A. Pedicone of Spivack & Spivack in Philadelphia, legal counsel for Steven Pendleton (a.k.a. Calvin Jenkins), petitioned the Court on April 29 to relieve herself of representation for Pendleton. A hearing on that proceeding will take place in Court chambers took place Tuesday at Philadelphia City Hall.

Defense counsel Kristen D. Lawfer of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, in a motion to oppose Pedicone’s departure as Pendleton’s representation, counter-petitioned to impose a 30-day limit on Pendleton finding a new attorney – so as not to cause any “undue delays” in litigation.

Pendleton initially filed suit in May 2014 against Liberty Management Services, and later added both the Philadelphia Suburban Development Corporation and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections in a December amended complaint.

On Aug. 2, 2013, Pendleton was a resident of the Community Services Center at 1007 West Lehigh Avenue, living on the building’s fourth floor. Due to Pendleton’s mobility issues, his daily meals were usually delivered to him. However, Pendleton claims his meal was not brought to his door on Aug. 1.

Attempting to find out why that was the case, Pendleton left his room on the fourth floor to proceed downstairs. Though an elevator was present in the building, Pendleton’s lawsuit claimed it had been out of order for some time and the only remaining method to descend to the ground floor was a marble staircase.

Pendleton walked with a cane, and when reaching the building’s second floor in the stairwell, the end of the cane became lodged in a cracked or broken portion of the stairs – which Pendleton allegedly did not see – causing Pendleton to fall.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants were collectively negligent in not inspecting the staircase, detecting the crack in the stairs and repairing it.

In the fall, Pendleton alleges to have suffered strain and sprain of both his cervical vertebrae and left shoulder, spinal stenosis near his C-5 and C-6 vertebrae, aggravated bilateral hip arthritis and post-concussive syndrome.

The plaintiff is seeking in excess of $50,000 in this case.

The defendants are represented by Ralph P. Bocchino, Shamrock Anne Kennedy of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin and Kristen D. Lawfer of the Attorney General’s Office of Pennsylvania, all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140503023

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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