Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Couple settle negligence litigation with Harrah's Philadelphia Casino

By Nicholas Malfitano | Apr 2, 2018


MEDIA – An Aston couple who sued Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and its operating companies for negligence and loss of consortium in connection with an injurious fall to the husband settled their litigation with the casino last year.

Per a praecipe filed by plaintiff counsel Marlo Pagano-Kelleher on June 19, it requested the Court to mark the matter filed by Richard and Melissa Rice against Harrah’s Philadelphia as “settled, discontinued and ended with prejudice”, with each party paying their own costs. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The Rices initially filed a lawsuit on Jan. 5, 2017 in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas against Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, Chester Downs & Marina LLC, Harrah’s Chester Downs Management Company LLC and Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Company Inc., all of Chester (and all collectively doing business as Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino).

The plaintiffs planned to spend an evening at the casino on the night of the accident, and arrived to the entertainment facility by car.

“After exiting his car, Mr. Rice began to walk around the car to open the car for Mrs. Rice and stepped in a hole concealed by what appeared to be a rubber matting strip. When planting his feet, Mr. Rice’s left went into the hole, which caused his left leg to twist in one direction while his body went in the opposite direction,” the suit stated.

“Mr. Rice immediately felt pain in his left leg, specifically in his left knee and left ankle. After Mr. Rice was able to release his foot from the hole and regain his balance, Mr. & Mrs. Rice went into the casino to alert someone of the incident.”

Casino staff later covered the hole with a wood-like plank, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs believed the defendants should have realized the danger the hole in the parking garage could have presented to the casino’s visitors. Richard claimed to have sustained a severe or Grade III medial collateral sprain in his left knee and an anterior talofibular sprain in his left ankle in the fall.

A later answer to the complaint with new matter filed by defense counsel last March categorically denied the plaintiffs’ allegations, arguing they were barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Act and the doctrines of laches, waiver and estoppel.

Prior to settlement, the Rices were seeking damages in excess of $50,000 plus costs, interests and other relief, based on charges of negligence and loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs were represented by Pagano-Kelleher of The Pagano Law Firm, in Media.

The defendants were represented by Lawrence M. Kelly of Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris Ledva & Meyers, in Philadelphia.

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas case 2017-000123

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas