SEPTA settles with siding company worker said to suffer spinal injuries when lifting generator

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 1, 2019

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)  

PHILADELPHIA – A settlement has been reached in the case of a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) employee who claimed being required to lift an unsafe generator on the job caused him to suffer both herniated discs and spinal injuries.

On April 3, counsel for plaintiff Raymond Acosta filed a praecipe to mark the instant matter, settled, discontinued and ended, upon payment of plaintiff costs only. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Acosta, of Philadelphia, first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on May 30 versus SEPTA, also of Philadelphia.

“On Sept. 25, 2017, Mr. Acosta was working at Philmont Siding in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, loading a Honda generator approximately three-and-a-half feet from the ground into the bed of a pickup truck,” according to the lawsuit.

The job was “dangerous,” the suit said, because of the generator’s 60-pound weight, its gasoline contents, it being covered in grease and oil and its swing-up handle being broken – among other factors, and resulted in Acosta feeling sharp pain in his right lower back upon attempting to pick up the generator.

“As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of defendant SEPTA, plaintiff suffered a 3 mm Grade I retrolisthesis of the L-4 [vertebra] on L-5 with disc space narrowing, mild bilateral facet joint hypertrophy at the L-4/L-5 and L-5/S-1 [vertebral junctions], mild disc bulge at the L-4/L-5 [vertebral junctions] with superimposed, small, broad-based central disc herniation, resulting in central spinal canal and mild right neuroforaminal stenosis, all requiring medical treatment, including physical therapy and pain management,” the suit stated.

Acosta claimed SEPTA violated federal law by not providing him with a safe place to work, failed to comply with its own internal safety rules and regulations and failed to provide appropriate, functional and safe protective gear, in addition to a number of other charges.

Prior to settlement and for one count of FELA violation and related negligence, the plaintiff was originally seeking damages in excess of $50,000 plus interest, costs and any other amount the Court deems fit to award, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff was represented by James J. McEldrew III of McEldrew Young, in Philadelphia.

The defendant was represented by Dolores Rocco Kulp, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180503232

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

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