SCRANTON – A Bensalem man has filed a complaint in Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas against Advanced Auto Parts, Emerald Lawn & Landscaping and The Tree Guys after an alleged fall, and one of the defendants recently filed its objections.

According to a complaint filed April 1, on Feb. 16, 2016, Clifton Cox was scheduled to make a delivery at an Advance Auto Parts location in Manchester. As he walked out of the building to unload his truck, he allegedly slipped and fell on ice that had accumulated on the store’s delivery dock.

Cox’s stop at the parts store was a regularly scheduled stop.

The complaint alleges that Advance Auto Parts, Emerald Lawn & Landscaping and The Tree Guys all failed to ensure that the delivery dock was safe and ice-free.

The complaint states that he sustained back injuries, including a herniated disc, broad disc protrusions and other back injuries that have restricted his range of motion, caused back tightness, headaches and made it difficult to swallow and speak. He alleges he also suffers lower back pain and an aggravation of degenerative disc disease, paralysis of the vocal cords and larynx.

The complaint states that the injuries have left him “sore, lame and disabled.”

Cox, according to the complaint, has incurred medical expenses for treatment as a result of the injuries he sustained in the fall.

Moreover, Cox alleges he has lost his ability to provide for his household, losing earnings and earnings capacity. His quality of life also has been impacted, and likely will be for the foreseeable future, according to the complaint.

The complaint seeks at least $50,000 from each defendant, plus interest and costs.

Emerald Lawn & Landscaping offered preliminary objections on June 23 for improper venue and legal insufficiency.

Cox lives in Bucks County and none of the defendants have an office or place of business in Lackawanna County.

In its objection, the Emerald Lawn & Landscaping maintained that “venue against a corporation can be found proper only where it is demonstrated where a corporate party regularly conducts business in the venue.”

Further, the Emerald maintains that Cox’s allegations of reckless conduct as well as any potential claims for punitive damages should be stricken for legal insufficiency.

Citing Martin v. Johns-Manville Co., Emerald also maintains that punitive damages may not be awarded for misconduct that constitutes ordinary negligence such as inadvertence, mistake, or errors of judgment.  

Emerald Lawn & Landscaping has also requested the case be transferred to York County Common Pleas Court.

Cox is represented by John M. Mulcahey of Munley Law in Scranton.

Joseph F. McNulty Jr. and John R. Keiser Jr. of Fowler Hirtzel McNulty & Spaulding in Allentown are representing Emerald Lawn & Landscaping.

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Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas

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