General Doors wants Philly case refiled in New Jersey

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 16, 2015

Laurence T. Bennett  

PHILADELPHIA – Defense counsel for a garage door manufacturer has objected to the venue chosen in a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff allegedly injured by one of its products, and further seeks transfer of the case out of the state.

Laurence T. Bennett filed a motion for preliminary objections on Aug. 27, stating the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas is an improper venue for the lawsuit brought by Bordentown, N.J., residents Wesley Murray Jr. and Susan Murray. Bennett said since the cause of action took place in Bordentown, there was no reason for the case to be heard in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, or Pennsylvania, at all.

According to Bennett, defendant General Doors Corporation has a base of operations in Bristol, located in Bucks County. Further, it only conducts approximately 1.5 percent of its business in Philadelphia County and does not own property there – all of which Bennett said stood as evidence of improper venue.

On Aug. 28, Bennett then filed a follow-up motion to dismiss the case for reasons of forum non conveniens, but allowing the plaintiffs to refile the matter in a timely manner, in what the defense believes is the proper venue for the case, Burlington County, N.J. 

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

In October 2014, Murray was contracted to perform home renovations and the installation of an automatic garage door for a residence in Bordentown, N.J. Murray ordered a 16x10-foot door package from Diamond M. Lumber Company, which in turn purchased the assembly from General Doors Corporation in Bristol. The assembly included the garage door and all component parts.

On Oct. 14, 2014, the suit says Murray began the door’s installation process. It required him to stand on an elevated platform scaffold, while a second worker released clips on the garage spring and drum. While standing on the platform, the door opened without warning and knocked Murray off the scaffold, due to a mismatch between the door and the drums, cable and torsion springs.

Murray says he suffered severe fractures of his right arm, wrist, left elbow, fractured teeth, bruised ribs and facial lacerations in the fall, and he and his spouse Susan Murray subsequently sued for strict product liability, negligence and breach of express and implied warranty.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of jurisdictional arbitration limits, plus interest and costs in this case.

The plaintiffs are represented by Ezra Wohlgelernter and Thomas Martin of Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Bennett of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150701533

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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