SEPTA argues it's immune from lawsuit filed by fallen and injured track flagman

By Nicholas Malfitano | Apr 3, 2019

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)  

PHILADELPHIA – A Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) flagman alleges his employer violated the Federal Employers Liability Act through its conduct in allowing a fallen stop sign to cause him to suffer severe leg injuries, while the agency argues that it is immune from the litigation.

Michael Jackson of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 14 versus SEPTA of Philadelphia and MECO Constructors, Inc. of Bensalem.

On Feb. 24, 2017, Jackson states he was working as a flagman at the SEPTA train station in Lansdale, keeping people at the station safe from oncoming trains. At the same time and place, defendant MECO and its workers were performing construction.

“A person at the site pulled out a stop sign from the concrete/ground and carelessly laid it on the ground. At around noon, and suddenly and without warning, plaintiff, who was doing his job to keep pedestrians safe from hazards, tripped over the carelessly-placed stop sign and fell,” the lawsuit states.

As a result, Jackson suffered a left flexor tendon transfer arch with calcaneal osteotomy with ankle arthroscopic debridement, microfracture and gastric slide, ongoing lower extremity pain and dysfunction, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, medial osteochondrial lesion of the talus, immobilization, use of a boot, physical therapy, left foot and ankle pain, contusions and pain on his forearms and pain in his knees and shins, plus other injuries.

Jackson argues SEPTA’s violation of FELA and MECO’s negligence was the proximate cause of his accident and injuries.

In new matter filed Jan. 31, the defendants denied the plaintiffs’ allegations and argued the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted under both FELA and FSAA, that the plaintiff’s conduct was the sole cause of his injury and that the plaintiff’s complaint is barred by numerous defenses, including the Fair Share Act, Worker’s Compensation Act and by the applicable statute of limitations, among many others.

The plaintiffs responded to the new matter on Feb. 12, denying the new matter and demanding strict proof of it at trial.

For counts of FELA violation and negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, delay damages, any other amount the Court deems fit to award, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by James J. McEldrew III and Jordan L Strokovsky of Meldrew Young, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Richard E. Stabinski and Frederick W. Brown of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 181201860

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Organizations in this Story

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby LLP

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