PHILADELPHIA – Counsel for a major hotel chain claim a negligence case brought against it both lacks proper jurisdiction and that a default judgment previously entered in the plaintiffs’ favor should be opened.
In preliminary objections filed in June, Gerard F. Lipski asserted the lawsuit filed by Donna Winston of Clayton, Del., and Gloria White of Landsdowne in April versus Twin Tier Hospitality (which does business as DoubleTree by Hilton) and Hilton Worldwide was done so in an improper venue.
Lipski claimed Winston and White had “no factual or legal basis” for filing the claim in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, and that DoubleTree is actually not a Hilton subsidiary and does no business in Philadelphia County.
The DoubleTree hotel Winston and White claimed to be injured at is located in Beachwood, Ohio. An evidentiary hearing will be held on Sept. 15 in order to determine proper venue, according to court records.
Further, Lipski filed a petition on June 23 to open a default judgment found against the hotel chain earlier this year. Though the complaint was served April 21, Lipski alleged the lawsuit was sent to Hilton Worldwide in McLean, Va., but not received in the company’s corporate office until May, and a notice of intention to take default supposedly was not forwarded to the company until June 9.
According to Lipski, plaintiff counsel Lawrence G. Metzger would only open the default judgment if Lipski would withdraw his preliminary objections to improper venue. Lipski asserted his petition to open the judgment was timely-filed, had a reasonable excuse for why the suit was not answered earlier and had a “meritorious defense for the claim.”
A hearing in the matter was scheduled for Monday in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall.
Filed in April, Winston and White’s suit stated they were visitors to the DoubleTree Hotel in Beachwood, Ohio on Oct. 19, when they were attacked in their room by bed bugs. Both Winston and White allege they suffered serious bodily injuries to their heads, bodies and limbs.
Winston and White also seek damages for costs of medical treatment they incurred, along with damages for their personal belongings they discarded after allegedly being attacked by the bed bugs.
The plaintiffs are seeking a sum not in excess of $50,000.
The plaintiffs are represented by Metzger of Metzger & Kleiner, in Philadelphia.
The defendants are represented by Lipski of Campbell, Lipski & Dochney, also in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150401426
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com