Amtrak: Premises liability plaintiff needs to pay $80K from 'double damages'

By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 17, 2015

Charles L. McNabb  

PHILADELPHIA – Amtrak believes a premises liability plaintiff needs to reimburse it for $80,000, as a result of potentially collecting what it called “double damages.”

According to a motion of allocation filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 24 by Amtrak counsel Charles L. McNabb, plaintiff Michael McCarthy of Havertown indemnified Amtrak through a signed settlement release on Aug. 17, 2010, for the sum of $150,000. 

On Oct. 18, 2012, a jury trial verdict found for McCarthy, for the sum of $200,000. In recognition of the aforementioned signed release, the verdict was molded to $120,000 against Driscoll Construction Company only. That December, McNabb filed a motion for McCarthy to pay Amtrak’s counsel fees, which was granted Jan. 28, 2013.

On that same day, the Court granted McNabb’s counter-motion for indemnification, directing Driscoll Construction Company to pay Amtrak $252,716.58. Included in that figure is $80,000, based on the jury’s finding of Amtrak being 40 percent responsible for the negligence causing McCarthy’s accident.

According to McNabb, the $150,000 Amtrak previously paid McCarthy satisfied the jury’s finding of 40 percent fault in the accident. Per the terms of the settlement, McNabb believes McCarthy is duty-bound to indemnify Amtrak against “double damages” – and pay Amtrak $80,000 from the funds received from the Court’s Jan. 28, 2013 order against Driscoll Construction Company.

Driscoll had appealed that matter to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, but their appeal was denied by that body on Aug. 19. 

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

McCarthy’s lawsuit, filed in January 2011, alleged that on Jan. 29, 2009, the plaintiff was working as a Building System Specialist for Amtrak, when he slipped and fell on a patch of ice in the vicinity of the Philadelphia Truck Shop. McCarthy claimed to suffer both knee and shoulder injuries in the fall.

McCarthy believes the failure of the defendants to inspect, maintain and properly clear the premises of dangerous conditions caused his fall. The suit targeted Amtrak in Philadelphia and Driscoll Construction Company in Spring House.

The plaintiff is seeking a sum in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert S. Goggin III, Voci R. Bennett and James Duckworth, of Keller & Goggin, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Richard K. Hohn, John A. Thiry and Charles L. McNabb of Hohn & Schuerle, plus William F. Sweeney, also all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 110103903

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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