Virginia rail company's objections to FELA complaint overruled in Philadelphia court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Mar 25, 2016

Philadelphia County Court Of Common Pleas  

PHILADELPHIA – A Virginia-based rail company’s preliminary objections in a negligence lawsuit have been overruled by a Philadelphia state court judge.

On Thursday, Judge Arnold L. New of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas overruled objections filed by defense counsel for Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

Back on Nov. 5, David A. Damico filed a motion for preliminary objections, seeking claims against Norfolk Southern to be dismissed with prejudice. Further, Damico stated in his motion that plaintiff William D. Collins had not alleged any facts to connect the claims he brought to the defense’s business in Pennsylvania, and allegedly did not work in Pennsylvania during his tenure working for the defendant. Damico also said the railway company was not “at home” in this state, but rather, in Virginia.

New’s order prevailed over these defense counsel objections.

From 1975 to 1990, Collins asserted he worked for the defendant as a trackman and machine operator. During that time, Collins said he was exposed to “toxic and/or pathogenic liquids, solids, dusts, vapors, mists, gases, diesel fumes, welding fumes, solvents and asbestos.”

In the process, Collins believed the defendant violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), Safety Appliance Act, and/or Locomotive Inspection Act by not providing him with a safe workplace. As a result of the exposure to the substances mentioned, Collins avers he developed kidney cancer, which required surgery to remove one of his kidneys, and sustained a reduced life expectancy. Collins seeks all damages recoverable under the FELA.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Thomas J. Joyce III, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Damico of Burns White, in Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150701131

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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