Venue objection overruled and affidavit of service stricken in woman's case against Brandywine YMCA

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 20, 2016

PHILADELPHIA – Preliminary objections have been both granted and overruled in a personal injury litigation involving a woman hurt at an area YMCA branch, including an affidavit of service being stricken from the case.

Edward J. McGinn Jr. filed two separate motions for preliminary objections on April 1, the first on behalf of the YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity, and the second on behalf of YMCA Brandywine Valley, YMCA of Greater Brandywine and Brandywine YMCA.

In the first motion, McGinn looked for Coatesville plaintiff Roberta Brannon’s lawsuit to be transferred to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, since the Brandywine YMCA location where Brannon’s fall took place is located there, in Coatesville.

McGinn added the YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity has no reason for being named in this lawsuit, since the Brandywine YMCA is not located under their auspices, and further pointed out the YMCA of the USA is based in Chicago, Ill., which he indicated only served to bolster his argument of improper venue.

In the second motion, McGinn said an affidavit of service for YMCA employee Stephen J. Bonguard needed to be stricken, since it was delivered to the Philly Freedom Valley YMCA on Christian Street in Philadelphia, which is also not under the direct oversight of the Brandywine YMCA, and reiterated the improper venue objections from the other motion.

In a third and separate objections motion, defense counselor Robert L. Sanzo agreed with the striking of Bonguard’s affidavit of service for the same exact reason McGinn pointed out.

On June 14, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold New issued a trio of orders in this action, Order Nos. 46-48.

Order No. 46 stated Sanzo’s objections on behalf of YMCA of the USA were sustained, and Bonguard’s affidavit of service would in fact be stricken, not having received original service process. New gave the plaintiff 20 days in which to serve the defendant properly.

Order No. 47 granted McGinn’s identical objection as Sanzo’s, on the topic of Bonguard’s affidavit of service on behalf of Brandywine YMCA, YMCA of Greater Brandywine and YMCA of the Brandywine Valley.

Order No. 48 overruled McGinn’s venue objections on behalf of YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity, and ordered that specific defendant to file an answer to Brannon’s complaint within 20 days.

On June 9, 2014, Brannon says she slipped and fell and a result of a dangerous condition on the premises of the Brandywine YMCA in Coatesville. Brannon averred to suffer a rotator cuff tear requiring surgery in the accident, along with shoulder injuries and impingement, nerves and nervous system injuries which are “irreparable, permanent and severe.”

The plaintiff is seeking judgment in excess of jurisdictional amounts requiring arbitration.

The plaintiff is represented by Samuel A. Anyan Jr. of Wapner Newman, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Robert L. Sanzo of Litchfield Cavo in Philadelphia, plus Edward J. McGinn Jr. and Michele A. Krengel of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, in King of Prussia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 160100293

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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