Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Choice of Laws Decision Issued by Judge Caputo of Pennsylvania Federal Middle District Court

In the case of Flickinger v. Toys R Us, Inc., No. 3:10-CV-305 (M.D.Pa. May 31, 2011, Caputo, J.), the court provided a detailed Choice of Laws analysis and ultimately concluded that a Pennsylvania Plaintiff's claims filed in a Pennsylvania federal court should be governed by New York law.

The Plaintiff, Mary Beth Flickinger ,claimed that she sustained injuries to her cervical spine when a bin filled with M&Ms fell on her at a Toys R Us store in Times Square, New York City.  The Plaintiff presented a substantial loss of future earning capacity claim as part of the case.

Judge Caputo's decision addresses a number of pre-trial motions in limine and is his opinion is notable with respect to the Plaintiffs’ Motion requesting the Court to apply Pennsylvania law on damages and liability to this case.

As indicated, the Toys R Us store was in NYC and that company was incorporated in Delaware.  According to the Opinion, the Plaintiffs resided and worked in Pennsylvania.  Also, the Plaintiff's medical providers were in Pennsylvania as well.

After presenting a detailed description of the Choice of Laws analysis, Judge Caputo ruled that the more conservative New York damages law should be applied.  Should you have this issue come up, this case may be a good one to kickstart your legal research on the question presented.

The prevailing defense attorneys include Tony Trozzolillo, Dan Stofko, Lauren Dobrowalski, Judy Moses, and Jamie Lenzi of the law firm of Cipriani & Werner.

Anyone desiring a copy of this case may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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