Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Germantown fitness center claimed drowned man died as a result of his own negligence, opposes wrongful death lawsuit


By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 3, 2018

The home boasts a magnificent indoor swimming pool. | Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty

PHILADELPHIA – The mother of a young man who drowned in a fitness center swimming pool in the Germantown section of Philadelphia last summer is now suing the center for charges of survival and wrongful death, though it claims the man’s death was the result of his own negligence.

Karen Shippley (Administratrix of the Estate of Kyle Kendrick Robertson) of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 23 versus Germantown Life Enrichment Center, of Philadelphia.

On July 21, 2018, Robertson was 18 years old and lawfully using the swimming pool, allegedly while not being supervised by a lifeguard, and was later found at the bottom of the pool. According to the lawsuit, the lifeguard was then present when Robertson was found, but allegedly failed to render life-saving aid.

The plaintiff says the defendant failed to secure, supervise and maintain the swimming pool area, in addition to failing to prevent the drowning death of Robertson – and a result, incurred medical, funeral, burial and other expenses.

In new matter filed Sept. 24, GLEC denied the charges and responded that Robertson’s death was caused by his own carelessness, recklessness or negligence, and the complaint should be barred and/or damage-limited by the choice-of-way doctrine and Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Act.

Through a response submitted the following day, Sept. 25, the plaintiff refuted the defendant's arguments and demanded strict proof at the time of trial.

For counts of negligence, wrongful death and survival, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus delay damages, interest, costs of suit and such other relief as the Court deems proper.

The plaintiff is represented by Leonard K. Hill of Hill & Associates, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Patrick T. Casey of Connor Weber & Oberlies, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180802269

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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