Case of man who broke arm on North Philadelphia golf course scheduled for 2020 trial

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jan 22, 2019

PHILADELPHIA – The case of a man who allegedly sustained a broken arm and ribs while riding in a golf cart on the Juniata Golf Course in North Philadelphia has been scheduled for a trial in about a year.

Per a case management order issued by Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge on Oct. 22, it directed that a settlement conference would be able to be scheduled subsequent to Nov. 4. Before that time, all counsel will file detailed pre-trial documentation prior to that same date. A pre-trial conference will be available for any date after Jan. 6, 2020, with an anticipated trial date of Feb. 3, 2020.

Michael Flaville and Shirley Flaville of Philadelphia first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 18 versus Juniata Golf Club, Juniata Golf Course and the City of Philadelphia, all of Philadelphia, plus Golf Car Specialties, LLC, of Pottstown.

On June 18, 2017, plaintiff, Michael Flaville says he was at the club riding a golf cart driving from one hole to another on the cart path along a steep incline on the marked Cart Path.

“Due to the negligence and inadvertence of defendants, there was no warning about the steep incline of the cart path and/or the golf cart was negligently maintained in that the brakes did not either slow or stop the cart, and the cart hit a raised ‘speed bump’ on the Cart Path at such a rate of speed, which caused the golf cart to flip over and the plaintiff to be thrown to the ground, causing the plaintiff to sustain serious and permanent injuries,” according to the lawsuit.

“As a result of defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff has sustained injuries, including but not limited to: Fracture of the left humerus, mildly-displaced intra-articular fracture of the distal radius, ulnar styloid fracture, multiple rib fractures, shock and injury to his nervous and muscular system, all of which claims may be permanent or cause a serious and permanent impairment of bodily function and emotional and mental distress, and may continue to suffer same.”

Michael also incurred health care expenses in the form of a health care lien of $18,415.93 and co-pays in excess of $4,000, for which he makes claim, the suit says.

The plaintiffs believe the defendants failed to assure the golf cart was safe for those lawfully using it, failed to properly supervise and instruct its agents, servants, workmen and employees and allowed the dangerous condition of speed bumps on a steep hill of the cart path to exist, among other charges.

The City of Philadelphia filed an answer to the complaint on Oct. 5, claiming it was immune from suit under the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, that the suit was barred by the applicable statute of limitations and that any possible recovery should be reduced under Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Act and Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.

Additionally, the City asserted cross-claims against the Juniata Golf Course defendants for negligence/contribution/indemnity and contractual indemnity/breach of contract, sought immunity from all suit and interest, costs, attorney’s fees and any other relief as is just and proper.

The Juniata Golf Course defendants filed their own answer to the complaint on Oct. 8 denying its allegations, and also claiming it was barred by the applicable statute of limitations, res judicata/collateral estoppel and Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Act, failed to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted and failed to mitigate his own damages. These defendants request judgment be entered in their favor and against plaintiff, along with all recoverable costs, fees and expenses.

For three counts of negligence and an additional count of loss of consortium, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiff is represented by David S. Berman of Matkoff, Shengold, Burke, Blyweiss & Arbittier, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Sharon E. Ulak of the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department in Philadelphia, plus of Cipriani & Werner, in Blue Bell.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180702283

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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City of Philadelphia Matkoff, Shengold, Burke, Blyweiss & Arbitter Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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