Elizabeth E. Deemer

PHILADELPHIA – If a defense counsel motion is approved, it would see a tractor-trailer crash suit moved from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to its counterpart in Luzerne County.

Elizabeth E. Deemer filed a motion to transfer venue with the Court on June 1, citing the accident occurred in Luzerne County, along with the placement of all potential witnesses and responding personnel in that county.

A hearing on this matter took place on Wednesday in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall.

Lititz resident Michael Suydam initiated the litigation in March (filing an amended complaint in May) against York resident Barton Ruffin, Western Express and Western Express Transport of Pennsylvania, in connection with an accident that took place on Nov. 22, 2013.

Suydam was driving a tractor-trailer on Route I-81 in West Hazleton (of Luzerne County), and had stopped his trailer on the shoulder of the road. Ruffin, an employee of defendant business Western Express, was driving his own tractor-trailer at the same location, and collided with Suydam’s vehicle.

According to court and emergency call records, Ruffin was swerving in and out of lanes for several miles before the collision, leading several motorists to report him and call 9-1-1.

In the accident, Suydam suffered crushed cervical vertebrae needing surgery, torn ligaments in his left knee, headaches, vocal cord paralysis, left arm numbness/pain, left shoulder issues, left hip problems, muscle spasms and other injuries.

Suydam has also incurred large medical bills and suffered a loss of earnings potential since the crash, he says.

The plaintiff is seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000, plus court costs, interest, delay damages and punitive damages, due to the defendant’s alleged “reckless, wanton conduct and indifference to human life.”

The plaintiff is represented by Howard G. Silverman and Michael E. Greenberg, of Haggerty & Silverman, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Deemer of Levicoff Law Firm, in Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150303407

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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