PHILADELPHIA – After a continuance, a hearing took place this week to decide the result of several preliminary objections at issue in the personal injury lawsuit filed by a King of Prussia man who was seriously injured by gunfire outside a Landsdowne bar.
Defense counsel Sang Woo Lee filed a motion for preliminary objections on March 18, claiming the case brought by Gary Hudson against Carlette’s Hideaway, its proprietor Arlette Brooks and Eugene Reagan was in an improper venue; that claims for punitive damages should be stricken for lack of sufficiency; and that the first two counts of the suit should likewise be thrown out for violations of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
Lee said since the cause of action in this case took place in Delaware County, it should be heard in a court located there. Further, in the case of her clients only (not Reagan) Lee believed Hudson had not sufficiently pled claims for punitive damages.
Finally, Lee also averred the first two counts of the lawsuit should be stricken, for an improper combination of charges in those counts relating to negligence and dram shop violations. Lee explained negligence and dram shop violations are two “separate causes of action with different elements and rules” for satisfaction, according to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
Per a June 30 decision from Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge, an argument and evidentiary proceeding in this matter was held on Aug. 10 in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.
According to Younge, a rule to show cause was thereby issued upon Hudson for this proceeding, to show why the preliminary objections raised should not be sustained. Young stipulated the Court will accept affidavits or deposition evidence and upon application, for cause shown, live testimony relevant to the question of venue or jurisdiction.
On Aug. 16, 2015, Hudson and his friend Margaret Giles were at Carlette’s Hideaway, when Reagan allegedly accosted them. According to the lawsuit, Reagan was Giles’ ex-husband and a friend of Brooks. Allegedly, Reagan was also heavily intoxicated, having attended a wedding reception earlier in the day.
Reagan questioned whether Hudson was Giles’ “new boyfriend," and the resulting scene was such that bar staff separated Reagan from Hudson and Giles, the suit claims. However, Reagan allegedly threatened Hudson and Giles, saying he had a gun. Hudson alleges despite this threat, no one from the bar called the police – even when Reagan left the premises to change clothes and collect said gun.
One hour later, the lawsuit states Reagan returned to Carlette’s Hideaway and shot Hudson in the abdomen. Instead of holding him at the scene until the authorities arrived, Hudson alleges the defendants permitted Reagan to drive away from the scene.
Hudson allegedly suffered a mesenteric hemorrhage, perforation of his small intestine, hypokalemia, gastrointestinal losses, hypovolemia, lactic acidosis, acute blood loss, acute hypernatremia, acute kidney injuries, acute pain due to trauma and colon injuries from the gunshot.
The plaintiff filed counts of negligence against each defendant, citing their “carelessness, recklessness, willful and wanton indifference.”
The plaintiff is seeking an amount “substantially in excess” of the jurisdictional amount required to guarantee a jury trial, exemplary damages, plus interest and costs in this case.
The plaintiff is represented by James E. Beasley Jr. and Lane R. Jubb Jr. of The Beasley Firm, in Philadelphia.
The defendants are represented by Ryan M. Paddick of Paddick Law Office in West Chester and Lee of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 151001297
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org