PHILADELPHIA – A product liability action alleging that a lawnmower malfunctioned and maimed one of the plaintiffs was discontinued not even three months after its filing, according to court records.

According to a motion filed last April 10 by plaintiff counsel Ara R. Avrigian, it asked Judge Arnold L. New to discontinue the suit filed by Ronald Hangey and Rosemary Hangey of Green Lane without prejudice.

The Hangeys first filed suit two-and-a-half months previous to that, on Jan. 24, 2017 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, against Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc. of Charlotte, N.C. and Trumbauer’s Lawn and Recreation, Inc. of Quakertown.

“On or about May 16, 2013, plaintiff Ronald Hangey purchased a riding lawnmower manufactured by defendant, Husqvarna, Model No. RZ4824F, VIN No. 100512C001003 which he purchased new from defendant, Trumbauer’s. On or about Aug. 5, 2016, plaintiff Ronald Hangey was operating the lawnmower at his property located at 370 Crosstown Highway, Lakewood, 18439 when he was unexpectedly thrown forward off the mower and came to rest at the bottom of a drainage area and/or hollow,” the suit stated.

“After Mr. Hangey was thrown forward off the mower, it continued down into the drainage area and/or hollow where it proceeded to roll over Mr. Hangey’s legs, with the blades still moving at high speed resulting in severe and catastrophic injuries to both of Mr. Hangey’s legs. After miraculously crawling out of the hollow and to a neighbor’s home, Mr. Hangey was airlifted to Geisinger Medical Center and subsequently transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital in critical condition,” the suit added.

In the accident, Ronald suffered “severe lacerations to both lower extremities, traumatic injuries to both lower extremities, massive blood loss, degloving injuries to the lower extremities," plus a number of surgeries including tissue transplants and skin grafts, infections requiring a number of hospitalizations and many other injuries.

The plaintiffs believe the defendants had a responsibility to manufacture and sell lawnmowers safe for use, and placed “profits and production” over the safety of the injured plaintiff.

Due to the location of the accident and where the equipment was purchased, defense counsel had argued in separately-filed motions for preliminary objections that the case did not belong in Philadelphia County – but instead, rather, the Warren-Forrest Court of Common Pleas within the 37th Judicial District, or alternatively, the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.

Trumbauer’s attorney Joseph M. DeMarco was one such defense attorney to make such claims on March 22 of last year.

“None of the five bases for the establishment of Philadelphia venue over defendant, Trumbauer’s, exist in the present matter. Defendant Trumbauer’s does not regularly conduct business in Philadelphia County. Upon information and belief, venue over co-defendant, Husqvarna, does not exist in Philadelphia County,” DeMarco said, and requested an order to transfer the case to a “proper” venue.

Prior to the litigation’s discontinuance, Ronald was seeking damages in excess of $50,000, including compensatory and delay damages, plus allowable costs for charges of negligence and strict liability. Rosemary seeks identical damages for loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs were represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Avrigian and K. Andrew Heinold of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.

The defendants were represented by Douglas M. Grimsley of Dickie McCamey & Chilcote in Pittsburgh, and DeMarco of March Hurwitz & DeMarco, in Media.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170103377 

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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