Defendant wants elevator fall litigation transferred to Chester County

By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 17, 2015

Scott M. Vernick  

PHILADELPHIA – An attorney for a defendant in an alleged slip-and-fall accident has filed a motion to change the case’s venue from Philadelphia County to Chester County.

Filed on behalf of Kencor, Inc., Scott M. Vernick’s Sept. 1 motion explained all defendants are located in Chester County (except Century Kitchens, Inc. in Montgomery County). Vernick also argued Chester County is where the subject of the instant litigation took place and where the defendants reside and do business, and it’s easier and more convenient for the relevant parties involved to testify there.

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

Collegeville resident Michelle M. Ciccarella’s May lawsuit alleged collective negligence on the part of numerous defendants, including: Kencor, Inc. of West Chester, Century Kitchens, Inc., Lisa Saia Salamone and 70-72 Lancaster Pike Irrevocable Trust, all of Colmar, Michael C. Saia and Century Properties of Malvern, plus Peter Saia and Carol Saia of Exton.

On July 23, 2013, Ciccarella said she was accompanying a friend at 72 Lancaster Pike in Malvern, where her friend had a hearing with the Board of Workers' Compensation on the building’s second floor. In order to reach the second floor, Ciccarella opted to use the building elevator.

The elevator door was open and Ciccarella thought the elevator car was safe. However, the elevator car’s floor was actually 12 to 16 inches below the level of the hallway Ciccarella was standing in, she says.

When attempting to enter the elevator, the difference in floor level caused Ciccarella to fall, twist her ankle, knee and lower back, and slam her right knee against the far elevator wall, she says.

Ciccarella stated an office worker came into the hallway at that time, and explained the elevator had not been arriving at building floors with an even surface level. The worker added they had been given a key by the building owner to reset the floor to its proper working order, during situations when it did not operate properly, the complaint alleges.

The plaintiff is seeking a sum in excess of $50,000, plus interest and costs from all defendants in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Frank P. Murphy of Murphy & Dengler, in Norristown.

The defendants are represented by Brian L. Calistri and Scott M. Vernick, of Weber, Gallagher, Simpson, Stapleton, Fires & Newby, plus Lauren A. Strebel and Charles M. Adams Jr. of Langsam, Stevens, Silver & Hollaender, both in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150502528

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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