Nursing home says some claims in wrongful death suit not specific enough

By Nicholas Malfitano | Aug 27, 2015

Francis J. Curran  

PHILADELPHIA – Attorneys for a senior care residence accused of negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit want to see that suit transferred to Delaware County and certain claims stricken for lack of specificity.

Defense counsel for Cliff House Senior Living in Chester, (operating as the Residences at Chestnut Ridge), Genesis Health Care and Genesis Eldercare Network Services, both in Kennett Square, filed preliminary objections on July 21, targeting the suit brought by Florence I. Friel of Brookhaven in April as one set in an improper venue – in addition to asserting several of its claims lacked necessary specifics.

As the subject incident took place in Delaware County, counsel for the defendants stated their belief in the aforementioned objections that the case should be moved there, and that all references to actions causing liability for punitive damages be stricken from the record. 

A hearing in this matter was set for Wednesday at Philadelphia City Hall, in Court chambers.

Friel, the daughter of decedent John Sidney Lincoln, alleged the Residences at Chestnut Ridge engaged in negligence that eventually caused the death of her father, then 100 years old. 

Friel brought charges of negligence, negligence through vicarious liability survival action and wrongful death against the defendants.

On May 1, 2013, Lincoln was using his walker and proceeding down the hallway on the building’s eighth floor, when Mike Jones, an employee of the facility, was vacuuming the hallway floor. The suit said as Jones moved the vacuum, it created a dangerous condition as the cord stretched across the hallway floor. As a result, Lincoln fell and hit his head on the wall, she says.

Further, the suit claimed Lincoln remained on the floor for some time, without receiving aid or assistance.

Though Lincoln eventually rose to his feet, he allegedly fell a second time, then hitting his back on a ledge of the hallway wall.

The suit then claimed Lincoln received aid from building staff after his second fall, and was transported via ambulance to Riddle Memorial Hospital. Lincoln was later transferred to Paoli Hospital for treatment of his injuries, but passed away five days later on May 6, 2013.

The lawsuit claimed the Residences at Chestnut Ridge were cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, for the presence of a hazardous condition in a public area and failing to maintain a clear hallway.

In his two alleged falls, Lincoln is alleged to have suffered a multitude of serious injuries which led to his death, including “a traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, brain bleed, a fractured T2 vertebra, lacerated spleen, head trauma”, and other injuries. 

The plaintiff is seeking individually, jointly and severally, an amount in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages, delay damages, interest court costs and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Francis J. Curran and Jonathan M. Ciriello of The Curran Firm, in Media. 

The defendants are represented by Robert E. Dillon and Kelsey L. Grozdich of Naulty, Scaricamazza & McDevitt, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150403263

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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