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Lawsuit follows Philadelphia man's ladder death

When a Pennsylvania couple marries, they normally do not imagine how life will proceed should one partner pass away. Sadly, those we love can pass away unexpectedly in an unforeseen accident during the normal scope of life, including while one partner is at work. While it is never truly possible to prepare for such an incident, post-accident measures like a wrongful death lawsuit can help a grieving spouse recover losses. A Philadelphia woman decided to take such action following the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband.

The man was a municipal employee. He was in the middle of a job which required him to conduct his work on a rolling ladder. Suddenly, the ladder gave out. The man crashed to the ground, sustaining serious head injuries. He was rushed to the hospital, where days later he died.

Following the accident, the man's wife apparently contacted a wrongful death attorney and decided to file a lawsuit in state court against the man's employer, the City of Philadelphia, as well as the out-of-state ladder company that produced the ladder that gave way as a result of missing parts. As with many actions that involve residents of other states, the out-of-state company now seeks to remove the case to federal court.

Removal is the legal procedure by which a defendant can attempt to change which court has jurisdiction over a matter: from state to federal court. Typically, only claims arising under state law and involving parties who are residents of the same state can proceed in Pennsylvania court. This remains true where one defendant is a resident of the state and the other is a non-resident. The Pennsylvania state court's jurisdiction is based on the former defendant's resident status.

There are many reasons why a Pennsylvania resident would want a case to be litigated in state court. For instance, the Pennsylvania court will often consider its own state's interest over the interests of other state's interests.

Source: pennrecord.com, "Wrongful death claim filed by estate of Phila. employee who died after falling from ladder," Jon Campisi, Nov. 26, 2013

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