Accident complaint versus New Jersey Transit dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 17, 2016

New Jersey Transit  

PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania plaintiff’s complaint against New Jersey Transit and one of its bus drivers was recently dismissed without prejudice from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, in order to allow future re-filing in a more “appropriate forum.”

Judge Linda Carpenter issued a ruling on March 22, dismissing the lawsuit filed by Tobyhana resident Geneithe I. Edwards against Salvatore Vicari of Jersey City, N.J. and New Jersey Transit Corporation in Newark, N.J., in response to a November motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by defense counsel Dolores Rocco Kulp.

On Nov. 10, Kulp filed the judgment motion, due to a presumed lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and sought dismissal in order for Edwards to refile the case in the Superior Court of Essex County, N.J., within 90 days, provided the defendants did not raise an applicable statute of limitations defense by that time.

In her motion, Kulp added the New Jersey Tort Claims Act requires lawsuits involving a New Jersey public entity to be filed “in a court of competent jurisdiction” in the state of New Jersey, and therefore, the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

Carpenter decided March 21 to dismiss Edwards’ claims without prejudice, in order that they may be re-filed in a “more appropriate forum” and tolled the statute of limitations as of Aug. 26 as to the defendants.

On May 28, 2014, Edwards was driving a 2010 Suzuki sedan traveling northbound in the left lane of Dyer Avenue in New York City, near the Lincoln Tunnel. At the same time and place, Vicari operated a New Jersey Transit bus that without warning, collided with the passenger side rear of the plaintiff’s vehicle, resulting in injury, the suit claims.

Edwards alleged negligence on the part of Vicari for careless, inattentive operation of the bus, vicarious liability/respondeat superior liability to New Jersey Transit for Vicari’s actions in their employ, negligent entrustment and Vicari’s use of the bus without proper supervision.

Edwards initially believed the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas was a proper venue for the case, since New Jersey Transit regularly transports passengers to Philadelphia and conducts business there.

Edwards allegedly suffered injuries to her neck, shoulder and back in the accident.

The plaintiff is seeking damages from the defendants, individually, jointly and severally, not in excess of arbitration limits.

The plaintiff is represented by Todd B. Jacobs and Anthony J. Comerota Jr., in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Kulp, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150803204

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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