Peter M. Patton of Galfand Berger Argues and Wins Important Procedural Issue in Negligence, Products Liability & Breach of Warranty Case
August 31, 2012
By Peter M. Patton, Esq.
A federal court recently returned a personal injury case to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas because defendants violated the rules on removing (taking) a case to Federal Court in Thompson v. Kulicke Kone Cranes GMBH. Plaintiffs filed suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas seeking compensation for serious injuries resulting from an incident at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard where the husband-plaintiff was employed as a crane operator.
Seeking a perceived advantage, Defendant Ingenieurtechnik Und Machinenbau GMBH (“IMG”) removed the case to federal court, claiming that one defendant, Reading Crane, although named in the suit, was not a proper defendant. Reading Crane was a Pennsylvania corporation, so that suit in Philadelphia County was proper according to the complaint. Plaintiffs, represented by Galfand Berger Senior Partner, Peter M. Patton, filed a Motion to Remand or return the matter to state court, arguing that Reading Crane was a proper defendant.
Defendants argued that plaintiff’s claims against Reading Crane were improper because Reading Crane had no involvement with the crane in question. However, the Court’s review of the evidence showed that Defendant Reading Crane had inspected the crane repeatedly before the injury of the injured worker.
Defendants also argued that Plaintiff’s complaint was not sufficient to join Reading Crane under Pennsylvania personal injury law. The Court found that the complaint sufficiently alleged that Defendant Reading Crane undertook responsibility to inspect the crane in question and inspected the crane negligently. The Court found that the state court would likely find that Plaintiff stated a viable claim against Defendant Reading Crane.
Based on this reasoning, the Court returned the case to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Personal injury attorney Patton sees this as a victory for all workers. People who are injured should have the right to choose the court in which they pursue their claim.
If you are injured as a result of a defective product or another’s negligence, call the personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger at (800)-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online.