Tractor-trailer negligence case could go to Bucks or Delaware counties, or New Jersey

By Nicholas Malfitano | Nov 30, 2015

Sean L. Phelan  

PHILADELPHIA – Attorneys for a New Jersey driver and Pennsylvania trucking company want to see a negligence suit filed against them sent to Bucks County, Delaware County or the Hudson County Superior Court in New Jersey.

Sean L. Phelan filed a motion for preliminary objections on Aug. 11, explaining Veltri, Inc. is based in both Levittown and Havertown, and the case should thus be sent to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas or Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. Alternatively, Phelan asked the case be sent to the Hudson County Superior Court of New Jersey, since the accident in question took place in that jurisdiction.

Phelan also requested the dismissal of any unsupported allegations from the suit filed by Bayonne, N.J.-based plaintiffs Bernard Magee and Annette Magee, such as one that alleged the defendants showed a “failure to comply with industry standards under the circumstances” – since the plaintiffs supposedly provided no factual basis to support those claims.

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

On April 17, 2014, defendants Gregory Smith and Veltri, Inc. were operating a tractor-trailer and making a pickup at a United States Postal Distribution center in Kearny, N.J. The trailer was parked in Bay 84, with plaintiff Bernard J. Magee and another postal worker inside the trailer, when Smith allegedly drove the trailer away from the bay without warning. 

As a result, Magee suffered a partial tear to the suprastinus tendon in his left shoulder and neck injuries, including disc bulges at the junctions of his C4-C5 vertebrae and C5-C6 vertebrae, plus injuries to his left shoulder and left knee, he says.

In June, the Magees filed suit against Smith for negligence in driving away from the truck bay with Magee still inside and other violations, in addition to a count of negligence to Veltri, Inc. under the respondeat superior theory of liability. The plaintiffs believe the defendants regularly conduct business in Philadelphia, and are therefore subject to Pennsylvania’s “long arm statute.”

The plaintiffs are seeking, jointly and severally, damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs and interest from the defendants in this case, with Annette Magee also suing for loss of consortium for the same amount of damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by Richard K. Washington Jr. of the Law Offices of Richard K. Washington Jr. & Associates, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Phelan and Andrew R. Benedict of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150602847

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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