Slip-and-fall against Macy's settled

By Nicholas Malfitano | Mar 29, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A Wallingford couple who sued Macy’s alleging damages from negligence-related injuries the wife says she suffered have settled with the department store retailer.

On Feb. 27, Deputy Clerk Sharon Lippi, Clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel, announced the action was dismissed with prejudice pursuant to agreement of counsel without costs. Lippi added the Court intends to retain jurisdiction for 90 days, and any settlement agreement was approved and made a part of the record.

Plaintiffs Eleanor Houck and Clarence Houck of Philadelphia initially filed a lawsuit on April 6, 2015 in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas against Macy’s Inc. and Macy’s East Inc., alleging negligence. It was later removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 14, 2013, Eleanor Houck was at Macy’s in the Springfield Mall, located in Springfield Township, when “her right foot caught upon a hard-crumpled rubber-edged floor (rippled) mat or rug situated at the entrance/exit of the store.”

As a result, Houck tripped and fell forward upon the mat or rug, face-first, causing serious, permanent and severe injuries, including: Facial injuries and lacerations; acute blowout fracture of the left inferior orbital bone with herniation of the left orbital fat into the fracture defect; oral cavity and nerve injuries; left elbow injury; recurrent lumbar spinal stenosis at the L4-L5 lumbosacral area; thoracic or lumbosacral neuritis or radiculitis; right foot and bilateral leg injury, resulting in a loss of normal ambulatory state; insomnia and anxiety disorder; depression; massive swelling of her face and areas surrounding the left eye; and extensive disfigurement and facial bruising.

For charges of negligence, respondeat superior liability and loss of consortium, the Houcks sought more than $50,000, plus delay damages, interest, counsel fees, costs and expenses. Due to those totaled costs exceeding the threshold of state court, the case was removed to federal court.

A settlement conference was conducted on Feb. 27, overseen by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey, and a final settlement agreement was reached at that time. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The plaintiffs were represented by Gary Stewart Seflin in Media.

The defendants were represented by Anthony W. Hinkle of Cipriani & Werner, in Blue Bell.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:15-cv-02275

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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