Attorneys attempting to withdraw from lawsuit filed by already deceased man

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 30, 2015

Steven M. Lipschutz  

PHILADELPHIA – A negligence action in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas is waiting on two key motions to be decided - one being a motion to withdraw the appearances of multiple plaintiffs attorneys, and the other for summary judgment.

Plaintiff's counsel Steven M. Lipschutz, Shirlee M. Friedman and Craig A. Bernstein of Lipschutz & Friedman collectively petitioned the Court on June 26 to withdraw their appearances, due to “serious misrepresentation and discovery of material facts” which caused “irreconcilable differences” in their continuing to take the case of the late Philadelphia resident Frank Young.

Lipschutz, Friedman and Bernstein explained in their motion that on June 22 they first learned Young had passed away, a revelation which also ties into the motion for summary judgment pending on this case, filed by defendants City of Philadelphia, PennDOT and L.C. Costa Contractors.

Counsel for those defendants claimed to discover Young had in fact passed away on March 15, 2014, nearly three months before the filing of the lawsuit in June 2014 and with no estate raised in his name. The summary judgment motion claims that due to this discovery, there is no possible way the case can proceed, since a deceased person cannot lawfully initiate legal action. 

A hearing in this case was scheduled for Thursday at Philadelphia City Hall in Court chambers.

The lawsuit filed in Young’s name is in connection with a fall he took on July 4, 2012, at a property located on the 5100 block of Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, on a broken and uneven sidewalk. Young alleged the defendants were collectively negligent in not recognizing, warning or repairing the broken sidewalk, which caused the accident.

Young claimed to suffer severe injuries to his head, body, limbs and internal organs, sprain and strain of acute cervical, dorsal and lumbar spine, cervical, dorsa; and lumbar myositis, post-traumatic bursitis in both shoulders, post-traumatic synovitis of the left and right knee, in addition to spurring and damage to several vertebrae in his cervical spine and other injuries.

Originally named as defendants in Young’s lawsuit were Freedom Square Associates in Philadelphia, Freedom Square Realty in Wallingford, Parke Bank in Philadelphia, L.C. Costa Contractors in Warminster, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia and the Sheriff of Philadelphia.

Freedom Square Realty was dismissed as a defendant on Dec. 4, while PennDOT and L.C. Costa were added through a successful joinder complaint filed by co-defendant Parke Bank on March 2. 

The plaintiff had been seeking judgment jointly and severally, not in excess of $50,000, plus court costs, attorney’s fees, interest and delay damages.

The defendants are represented by William M. Connor of Christie, Sullivan & Young, David A. DuBois of Rawle & Henderson, Sharon E. Ulak and John H. McCarthy in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140600498

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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