Pennsylvania Record

Friday, July 19, 2019

Lawsuit: Man sustained injurious fall on Samaritans' Jenkintown property


By Nicholas Malfitano | Sep 14, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia man has initiated a lawsuit against a real estate management company connected to a Jenkintown non-profit organization, alleging its negligence led to him suffer a fall on the group’s property.

William Russell of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on June 8 versus The Samaritans, Inc. and Orteli Zahairagunn, both of Jenkintown.

“On or about June 21, 2016, plaintiff, William Russell, was a pedestrian and lawfully on said premises located at and/or near 5926-5928 Warrington Avenue, Philadelphia, and when the plaintiff came in contact with the set of dangerous stairs, dangerous steps, steps without a proper handrail, extremely dangerous steps, broken concrete, unlevel walking surface, debris, inadequate handrail, crack, hole, step(s) with inadequate foot space, uneven steps, steep steps, defect and/or otherwise dangerous condition, plaintiff, William Russell, was caused to fall violently down, all of which caused plaintiff to sustain severe and permanent injuries and damages,” the suit reads.

Russell believes his accident was due to having a set of steps with loose concrete, failing replace the broken up steps, failing to make the steps level and failing to have a level porch, among other reasons – and in the process, he suffered full-body injuries, including a right calcaneal fracture, ankle edema and chronic pain in the right calf.

In response, Zahairagunn’s attorney filed a response to Russell’s complaint on Aug. 6 that denied its allegations in their entirety, arguing the complaint failed to state a cause of action, was barred by both the statute of limitations and the Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Act and the plaintiff’s injuries were due to his own negligence.

On Aug. 23, Russell’s counsel replied to Zahairagunn’s response and categorically denied all of his assertions as conclusions of law to which no responses are required.

Meanwhile, Russell had also filed a motion back on Aug. 15 seeking to consolidate the action with two others he filed, connected to the very same events. The desire for consolidation was due to seeking judicial expediency, according to documents. Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas John M. Younge granted the request on Sept. 7.

For counts of negligence, the plaintiff was seeking damages, individually, jointly and/or severally, in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiff is represented by Louis B. Himmelstein of Louis B. Himmelstein & Associates, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Ashley E. Oakey of the Law Offices of James L. Barlow, in King of Prussia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180600813

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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