Attorneys Say Borough of Conshohocken Missing from Construction Injury Case Necessitates Transfer to Montgomery County

The below article is reprinted with the permission of the Pennsylvania Record. The article covers a lawsuit resulting from an injury that occurred during the construction of the Conshohocken Rowing Center.

PHILADELPHIA – A defense attorney in a personal injury case says a plaintiff did not include a necessary defendant in the subsequent litigation, and summarily wants the case transferred to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Richard J. Margolis filed a motion for preliminary objections on April 26, for failing to state a cause of action on the part of Leon Oates against the Malvern Prep School & The Friends of Haverford School, C. Raymond Davis & Sons, Inc., Millstat, LLC, Accelerated Fire Protection, Inc. and Budget Maintenance, Inc.

Margolis added the actual entity needing to be named in the complaint is the Borough of Conshohocken, as the arrangements for boathouse construction as labeled in the suit was effectuated through the Borough and the school defendants. Margolis said the Borough owned the land upon which the boathouse construction took place and is a necessary party to the action – as well as not stating a valid case against the other defendants.

Moreover, Margolis said the school defendants have no contacts or base within Philadelphia County, and the Borough of Conshohocken can only be sued in Montgomery County court, hence the objection motion’s portion seeking a judicial transfer.

On Aug. 22, 2014, Oates was working on the construction project to build a new two-story masonry and wood stud boathouse on Washington Street in Conshohocken. According to the lawsuit, the site was built jointly by defendants Malvern Prep School and The Friends of Haverford School (sans the Borough).

Oates was performing waterproofing/caulking and while doing so, he fell 20 feet through a drop ceiling, then down a series of about 15 concrete steps afterwards. The lawsuit alleges due to the defendants’ collective “negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and liability-producing conduct,” Oates suffered traumatic brain injury, fractures, orthopedic injuries, plus mental/emotional and physical pain, and the lawsuit contains charges of negligence against all defendants for failure to provide a safe work environment.

The plaintiff is seeking damages, individually, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000 in compensatory and delay damages, interest and allowable costs of suit from all defendants in this case.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Andrew R. Duffy and Jeffrey P. Goodman of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, plus L. Leonard Lundy of Lundy Law, all in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Elizabeth A. Chalik of Wood Smith Henning & Berman, Rachel I. Freedman of Marks O’Neill O’Brien & Doherty, Robert J. Cosgrove, Peter F. Cardwell and Marcus A. Washington of Wade Clark Mulcahy, Margolis and Tamara Chasan of Margolis Edelstein; Catherine N. Walto of Rawle & Henderson, plus Athena O. Pappas and Francis J. Deasey of Deasey Mahoney & Valentini, also all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 160201795.

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at