Penn State University slip-and-fall case should be heard in Dauphin County, defense argues

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 14, 2016

Penn State University  

PHILADELPHIA – Defense counsel in a premises liability action revolving around an injurious fall on a satellite campus of Pennsylvania State University is arguing the case should be transferred to Dauphin County, where the accident took place.

Geoffrey F. Sasso filed a motion to transfer on April 1, explaining the subject incident connected to plaintiffs Lisa and Gary Guenst’s lawsuit occurred in Dauphin County, and neither the parties nor witnesses had any connection to Philadelphia County. According to Sasso and pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the case should be transferred to Dauphin County.

In contrast, the plaintiffs argued because the university holds master’s degree engineering classes in South Philadelphia’s U.S. Navy Yard, venue was proper in Philadelphia County.

On May 9, 2014, Lisa Guenst was a business invitee of Pennsylvania State University’s Capital Union Building, located on its Harrisburg-area campus in Middletown. Guenst says she was caused to fall there by an accumulation of liquid that was consistent in appearance with grease – allegedly, as a result of a trash bag containing food products being dragged across the floor by a university employee. Guenst says the university failed to inspect their premises properly to prevent such accidents.

Guenst allegedly suffered injuries to her right arm, right elbow, right shoulder, right leg and right ankle, in addition to other injuries.

The plaintiffs are seeking, jointly and severally, damages in excess of $50,000, plus delay damages, interest, costs and other relief from all defendants in this case. This includes a count of loss of consortium filed by Gary Guenst.

The plaintiffs are represented by Tyler Tomlinson of Stark & Stark, in Yardley.

The defendant is represented by Sasso and Michelle D. Coburn of White & Williams, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150901525

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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