Contractor allegedly electrocuted at Home Depot will not have case expedited, judge says

By Nicholas Malfitano | Mar 18, 2019

Home Depot  

PHILADELPHIA – The case of a contractor who suffered an electric shock renovating a break room in Home Depot will not be expedited on a faster case management track, according to the decision of a state judge.

On Jan. 3, plaintiff counsel Elizabeth A. Bailey filed a motion on behalf of plaintiff Kevin Williams to change his case management classification from “Standard Track + 90 Days” to “Expedited." One week later, on Jan. 10, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge John M. Younge denied the motion in question.

Williams, of Stowe and Mammoth Cave, Ky., initially filed a writ of summons in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas on May 13, 2015, versus Home Depot USA and several other companies, including Certa Pro Painters of Spring City.

Per the litigation, Home Depot entered into an agreement with RJB Contracting to provide goods and services, notably the remodeling of the store’s training room and break room. The work involved consisted of installing new lighting in a drop ceiling and a flat screen television in the store’s break room. For at least two weeks prior to Nov. 1, 2014, RJB Contracting’s employees were installing the drop ceiling light fixtures, then stopped working at the premises, it is alleged.

To complete the project, RJB Contracting had to install the television in the store’s break room. Plaintiff says he came to the premises on Nov. 1, 2014 to complete this task and took hold of a charged MC Lite steel-cased electric cable which he intended to connect to the outlet in which the television tail wire/plug would be inserted. In doing so, he suffered an electric shock, he says.

Instead of filing a complaint for a cause of action, Williams filed a writ of summons and propounded the pre-complaint discovery requesting the identity of all contactors performing renovations, alterations, modifications, improvements and electrical work to the premises, along with all documentation relating to same, for a period of five years prior to the incident – which defense counsel referred to as an “overbroad” and “unwarranted” request.

“Nowhere in his pre-complaint discovery does plaintiff allege or demonstrate the information requested would materially advance his prospective complaint, nor does plaintiff identify facts establishing a reasonable belief that the evidence sought would support a cognizable cause of action as against defendant. To the contrary, plaintiff’s pre-complaint discovery is nothing more than a fishing expedition in hopes of identifying other potential parties,” counsel for Home Depot, Kenneth M. Dubrow, said in a subsequent motion.

Dubrow seeks a protective order seeking to preclude Williams’s pre-complaint discovery in its entirety, even as the case has since been transferred to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas and no official complaint has yet been filed.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, David L. Kwass and Elizabeth A. Bailey of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by John M. Pecci II and Erica M. Johnson of Marks O’Neil O’Brien Doherty & Kelly, Kenneth M. Dubrow of the Chartwell Law Offices, Lisa Bellino Apelian of Campbell Lipski & Dochney, all of Philadelphia, plus Philip D. Priore and Joseph H. Byron III of McCormick & Priore, in both Philadelphia and Plymouth Meeting.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180902803

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas The Home Depot

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