A Pennsylvania mans lawsuit asserting negligence claims filed against Falls Manufacturing Co., U-Haul Co. of Pennsylvania and AMERCO, U-Haul International Inc., after he suffered critical injuries when a solid crane that was mounted fell on his back and shoulder while he was working was returned by Philly Common Plea Court.
According to the record, it showed that plaintiff identified as Eldridge Salley filed a motion addressed to the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to place the Philadelphias Common Pleas Courts case on the grounds that complete diversity was not present between the parties.
At this plea, AMERCO simultaneously moved for the dismissal of claims against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. Meanwhile, Falls Manufacturing Co. and U-Haul Co. of Pennsylvania filed for the dismissal of the entire complaint for not being able to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or alternatively for a more definite statement.
U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois in his July 15 ruling granted the plaintiffs motion to move the case to Philadelphia County; however, the jurist denied the petition of Salley asking for litigation fees and expenses.
Inasmuch as the judge remanded the civil action, he did not allow on the defendants motions to dismiss.
The lawsuit claimed that Salley sustained the following injuries: (1) spinal fractures; (2) bone fragments; and (3) a permanent spine deformity. This resulted when part of massive equipment that atop of him at the work place operated and owned by the defendants who are located at Bucks County Fairless Hills.
U-Haul International and AMERCO are based in Nevada and Arizona respectively.
U-Haul Co. has its principal place of business in the Keystone State, also Falls Manufacturing Co. that is a division of that company.
According to the two defendants, they argued that removal of the case to the federal court was appropriate for they claimed that they were joined fraudulently to the litigation.
U-Haul argued that Pa defendants are immune from negligent suit for Salley lacks a colorable claim against them; consequently, the joinder is fraudulent.
To support the claim, U-Haul submitted an affidavit by president of Falls Manufacturing Co, William Hawthorne, which is also owned by U-Haul Co. of Pennsylvania. It stated that the company was providing Salley with everyday job assignments, and that it was U-Haul controlling the welding work that was performed by the plaintiff.
According to Salley claim, he used his own tools at his job site and was never given U-Haul attire performing his task.
The judge finally pronounced that given the facts of the case, it appeared that the Pennsylvania defendants were not Salleys statutory employers, and therefore could be held potentially liable in the civil action.
At the same time, DuBois denied that Salleys motion for expenses and fees while the Common Plea court did not accept the fraudulent defense joinders argument. The court made no comment that U-Haul did not have an objectively reasonable basis for removal for the disputed nature of the facts as alleged in the case.
Source: Penn Record Com