Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Lawsuit over man's drowning in Germantown fitness center to see December trial date

State Court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Oct 1, 2019

PHILADELPHIA – Survival and wrongful death litigation between the mother of a young man who drowned in a fitness center swimming pool in the Germantown section of Philadelphia in the summer of 2018 and the center itself is headed to trial this winter.

Per court records, the lawsuit filed by Karen Shippley against Germantown Life Enrichment Center is slated for a tentative trial date of Dec. 2, before Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Denis P. Cohen.

Shippley (Administratrix of the Estate of Kyle Kendrick Robertson) of Philadelphia first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 23, 2018 versus Germantown Life Enrichment Center, of Philadelphia.

On July 21, 2018, Robertson was 18 years old and lawfully using the swimming pool, allegedly while not being supervised by a lifeguard, and was later found at the bottom of the pool. According to the lawsuit, the lifeguard was then present when Robertson was found, but allegedly failed to render life-saving aid.

The plaintiff said the defendant failed to secure, supervise and maintain the swimming pool area, in addition to failing to prevent the drowning death of Robertson – and a result, incurred medical, funeral, burial and other expenses.

In new matter filed Sept. 24 of last year, GLEC denied the charges and responded that Robertson’s death was caused by his own carelessness, recklessness or negligence, and the complaint should be barred and/or damage-limited by the choice-of-way doctrine and Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Act.

Through a response submitted the following day, Sept. 25, 2018, the plaintiff refuted the defendant's arguments and demanded strict proof at the time of trial.

For counts of negligence, wrongful death and survival, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus delay damages, interest, costs of suit and such other relief as the Court deems proper.

The plaintiff is represented by Leonard K. Hill of Hill & Associates, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Patrick T. Casey of Connor Weber & Oberlies, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180802269

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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