Sidewalk fall case involving New York couple settled in advance of arbitration hearing

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 18, 2016

Philadelphia County Court Of Common Pleas  

PHILADELPHIA – A premises liability suit from a Brooklyn, N.Y., couple against several defendants based on an injurious fall occurring in December 2011 has been settled.

Prior to a settlement notice from plaintiff counsel, Carol A. Murphy had filed a defense motion to enforce settlement on Dec. 31. The Philadelphia-based defendants in this action are Anthony Johnson, Susan Johnson, Marlene Dorsey, Godfrey Housing Company and the City of Philadelphia.

Murphy said the matter had been settled prior to a scheduled arbitration hearing. A copy of the final settlement release had been forwarded to the plaintiffs on Feb. 24 of last year, but was not executed, according to Murphy. Murphy pointed to state law prohibiting the agreement to a settlement and then changing one’s mind, and requested the plaintiffs execute the agreement within 10 days or face dismissal of the case with prejudice.

Judge Nina Wright Padilla had scheduled a hearing on the petition for Wednesday, but in the wake of the settlement approval on Tuesday as noticed by plaintiff counsel Keith DosSantos, the enforcement motion was rendered moot and its hearing unnecessary.

Terms of the final settlement were not disclosed.

On Dec. 15, 2011, plaintiff Celeste Brown was walking west near 415-417 West Godfrey Avenue, and according to the suit, fell on a broken portion of sidewalk in that general area. Brown alleged failure to inspect, maintain or repair the sidewalk on the part of the defendants.

Brown allegedly suffered injury to her head, body, limbs, neck, back and shoulders, all with involvement of surrounding bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels and soft parts.

The plaintiffs had been seeking damages individually, jointly and severally, not in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees in this case. Fellow plaintiff William Brown also sued for loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs are represented by DosSantos of Joseph Mistrano & Associates, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Hannah M. Girer-Rosenkrantz of the City Solicitor's Office, Glenn A. Ricketti and Murphy of Margolis Edelstein, plus Deborah M. Bailey of The Law Offices of Kenneth S. O’Neill, all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 131102221

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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