PHILADELPHIA – Recently, a settlement was obtained prior to arbitration between a group of Philadelphia tenants, including a minor plaintiff, and their former apartment management company for negligence, in a case connected to allegations the company did not protect the plaintiffs from being attacked by bed bugs.

According to a Jan. 18 docket entry, the case between tenants Amanda Copeland, Brendon Hay and minor Taylor Hicks against Korman City Mews & Suites (now BEK Management) was settled and may be restored to the arbitration list only upon judicial order. 

On Feb. 14, a motion for application and distribution of minor’s compensation was filed by plaintiff counsel Lawrence G. Metzger. The document detailed the case had been settled for $2,000 – and that the law firm of Metzger & Kleiner requested a contingent counsel fees payment of $647.44 and reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs of $57.68.

Therefore, the remaining amount, $1,294.88 and any accrued interest thereon, was to be deposited in an account in Hicks’ name only in Wells Fargo Bank, with proof of the account’s establishment to be submitted to the court within 60 days.

City residents Copeland, Hay and Hicks first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 23, 2017, against Korman City Mews & Suites, also of Philadelphia. Later, defendants Jean Hayward of Philadelphia and Pest Bureau of Upper Darby were added to the case.

“At all times material hereto, plaintiffs were tenants at the property and in the apartment hereinabove mentioned. In November-December 2015, plaintiffs’ apartment became infested with bed bugs, causing plaintiffs the serious injuries hereinafter described,” the complaint read.

The plaintiffs believed the defendant was “careless, negligent and reckless” in failing to inspect, maintain or repair the apartment, failing to warn the plaintiffs of a dangerous condition or use due care under the circumstances. The plaintiffs sustained bed bug bites to their arms, legs, backs, wrists, feet, faces, mouths, eyelids, plus nervous system shock in this situation.

Prior to settlement, the plaintiffs were seeking damages not in excess of $50,000, with no submission to arbitration.

The plaintiffs were represented by Metzger of Metzger & Kleiner, in Philadelphia.

The defendants were represented by Timothy D. Rau of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, Thomas D. Summerville of Snyder & Barrett, Gerard X. Smith of Naulty Scaricamazza & McDevitt, also all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170103049

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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