Accident witness must explain absence or face contempt of court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 8, 2015

Matthew T. Pisano  

PHILADELPHIA – An independent witness in a motor vehicle accident case must explain why he did not appear for a prior deposition or be found in contempt.

According to a miscellaneous motion filed by Matthew T. Pisano on June 30, accident witness Donald Rice had been subpoenaed to appear for a court-ordered deposition on June 19.

Rice, who owned a hair salon, claimed on June 9 he needed to $1,600 to open his salon, to cover the time he would miss by appearing for the deposition. However, Rice did not appear, and Pisano’s motion explained Rice needs to show why he should not be found in contempt by the court for missing the scheduled deposition.

Further, a pending motion for extraordinary relief, also filed by Pisano, sought to extend discovery deadlines by 90 days.

A hearing in these matters was set for Thursday at Philadelphia City Hall, in Court chambers.

On June 7, 2012, plaintiff William Bridge was riding his bicycle near 23rd & Market Streets in Philadelphia, and claimed Randal Hiatt’s reckless driving caused him to collide with Bridge. Bridge said Hiatt was speeding and improperly entered the lane at the time of the collision.

Bridge suffered several back injuries; contusions to his right elbow, left knee and abdomen; right rib and hip injuries; and ambulation dysfunction, among other injuries.

In June 2014, Bridge filed suit against Hiatt, of Liberty, Ind., along with Stone Road Transport of Liberty, Ind., Buchanan Hauling & Rigging of Fort Wayne, Ind., the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 

In Bridge’s suit, he levied charges of negligence against Hiatt’s employers for failure to train him properly, negligence against the City and PennDOT in not maintaining the paint separating a portion of the street at 23rd & Market Streets, and for property damage to his bicycle.

The plaintiff is seeking a sum jointly and severally in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, attorney’s fees, delay damages and other relief in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Brett W. Batoff, in Philadelphia. 

The defendants are represented by Pauline J. Manos, Richard C. Geer and Pisano, all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140601200

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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