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Three years too long for plaintiff to file petition
in slip and fall case, Superior Ct. rules

(4/28/2004) - A filing error by the courts that erroneously assigned a slip and fall complaint to Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center--and with the wrong attorney ID number of the appellant’s attorney, is not sufficient excuse for the injured plaintiff’s three-year delay to file a petition to remove a no pros judgment, the Superior Ct. has ruled.   

In Sullivan v. Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court ruled on April 26 that it did not agree that there was a reasonable explanation or legitimate excuse for the inactivity or delay between the judgment of non pros entered in 1999 and the plaintiff’s motion to vacate in 2002. The Court did acknowledge, however, that given the circumstances of this case, some delay in prosecuting would have been legitimately excusable.

“While we agree that the typographical error that occurred in assigning the matter in the court system may have cause some delay in counsel being aware that a non pros had been entered, we believe an attorney working diligently on behalf of his client would have discovered the entry of non pros prior to the expiration of three years,” President Judge Joseph A. Del Sole wrote on behalf of the panel.

A copy of the 4 page opinion is available from the appellate court’s web site.

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