SEPTA blames City of Philadelphia for hole in sidewalk that led to lawsuit

By Nicholas Malfitano | Mar 22, 2019

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)  

PHILADELPHIA – A pair of plaintiffs allegedly injured by a fall caused by a hole in the concrete curb on a Philadelphia sidewalk have levied a lawsuit against both the City of Philadelphia and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) – though SEPTA claims the lone fault for the incident rests with the City.

Bryheem Davis and Nicole Richardson of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 17 versus the City and SEPTA, both also of Philadelphia.

On Nov. 8, 2017 at 10:30 p.m., both Davis and Richardson were crossing the intersection of Mount Vernon and 13th Streets, when Richardson fell due to a hole in the concrete curb near the corner’s sewer grate, the suit says. When Richardson fell, Davis was pulled down onto the ground, as well, the suit says.

According to the litigation, both the City and SEPTA were aware of this defect and safety hazard, but failed to correct it in a timely manner. As a result, Davis suffered a broken right hand, broken right wrist and various spinal and other injuries, while Richardson suffered injuries to her right hand, chest, ribs and various spinal injuries, the suit says.

In new matter filed March 1, SEPTA denied the plaintiffs’ allegations and argued that their injuries were caused by their own negligence, recklessness and carelessness, that the complaint was barred or limited by the Fair Share Act and that the fall was caused by debris, trash, liquids or other substances, thus indemnifying the defendant from suit, among other rationales.

Moreover, SEPTA alleged in a cross-claim that the City was solely liable on the underlying cause of action, or is jointly and severally liable with, or liable to, cross-claimants on the causes of action arising out of the transaction or occurrence or series of transactions or occurrences upon which the underlying cause of action is based.

For two counts of negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, reasonable attorney’s fees and any other amounts the Court deems appropriate.

The plaintiffs are represented by Dennis A. Pomo of Pasquarella & Pomo, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Peter W. Baker of the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department and William G. Brown of SEPTA’s Law Department, both also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 181201894

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Organizations in this Story

City of Philadelphia Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

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