Plaintiff counsel withdraws from slip-and-fall action against herbal products store

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 20, 2016

PHILADELPHIA – A lack of communication has led a plaintiff’s attorney to leave a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the proprietor of an herbal products store.

Alan D. Silverman of Gold Silverman Goldenberg & Binder filed a motion to withdraw appearance on April 14, explaining he was first retained by plaintiff Jamila Cole in August 2013. However, Silverman described a lack of communication from that point until June 2015 – until Silverman forwarded a complaint for Cole’s review, since the statute of limitations in her action was approaching last August. Subsequent attempts to establish contact were not successful, according to Silverman.

In December, defense counsel filed a motion to compel discovery, and Silverman says he wrote to Cole several times regarding that motion from that point until April, but did not hear back from Cole. Further, not one letter sent to Cole was marked as undeliverable.

In the interim, Athena O. Pappas of Deasey Mahoney & Valentini entered appearance for defendant Victoria Onwuchekwea (doing business as Chic Afrique), and obtained a court order compelling a response to discovery requests.

Silverman said he was unable to abide by the discovery request due to Cole’s lack of communication, but added her Camden, N.J., address remains valid. In addition, Cole’s absence and lack of communication made his representation “unreasonably difficult.” An arbitration hearing in this case, originally set for May 6, was recently continued to July 7.

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

On Aug. 15, 2013, Cole entered Chic Afrique at 3943 Lancaster Avenue, and was allegedly caused to fall on rose petals and other types of vegetation spread throughout the floor, causing her injuries. Cole alleged the shop failure to correct this dangerous condition, resulting in her fall.

Cole allegedly suffered cervical and lumbar strain and sprain, right trapezius myofascitis, aggravation of pre-existing spinal bifida and traumatic anxiety.

The plaintiff is seeking damages not in excess of $50,000, plus interest and costs.

The defendant is represented by Pappas and Francis J. Deasey of Deasey Mahoney & Valentini, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150801080

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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