PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court denied final appeals on May 16 from two bar operators who failed to file timely challenges from default judgments against them stemming from a 2013 fight that allegedly left a patron injured.

Two years after employees and customers got in a fight at Lit Ultrabar in Philadelphia in November 2013, a woman sued the establishment for injuries she allegedly suffered during the brawl. Appellee Angelina Wilson was invited to Lit Ultrabar in Philadelphia around 4 a.m. While she was there, other patrons in the bar, including two employees, began to fight. The fight carried out into the street. According to Wilson, she allegedly suffered serious injuries to her face, head and body.

Wilson filed a complaint in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against the owners and operators of the bar, including Brian Dougherty and Gerald Thomas. The two were served with the complaint and never filed an answer. Because of this, Wilson entered default judgments against Dougherty and Thomas in February 2016.

Dougherty and Thomas immediately filed a petition to open the judgment, but that was quickly denied. They tried to file another motion for reconsideration, but the trial court denied that as well.

Dougherty and Thomas filed for appeal from the order on June 1, 2016. The Superior Court entered an order on Aug. 16 to “show cause ‘as to the basis of this Court’s jurisdiction over this matter.’ The response was due within ten days of the date of the order,” according to court documents. The response was not presented in a timely fashion, so the determination was left to the merits panel.

The Superior Court noted that the appellants filed for a motion for reconsideration on May 9, 2016, but once they were denied, Dougherty was the only one to file a motion of appeal on July 1, 2016. Thomas never filed a notice appeal. The notice not only didn’t list Thomas, but it was not filed in a timely manner, according to the Superior Court. Because of this, the court denied the appeal and upheld the lower court’s decision in the original case.

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Superior Court of Pennsylvania
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Harrisburg, PA - 17120

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