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Donovan and Vahey Obtain Order Granting a Motion to Dismiss in Lieu of an Answer

January 13, 2021

John Donovan (Partner-Philadelphia) and Caroline Vahey (Of Counsel-Philadelphia) obtained an Order granting a Motion to Dismiss in Lieu of an Answer in New Jersey Superior Court, Burlington County. Plaintiff alleged serious injuries in a trip and fall and sued the premises owner and a housekeeping contractor as well as John Doe defendants. After the Statute of Limitations expired, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint to replace John Doe with our client, a provider of security services, after discovering our presence at the property. John and Caroline filed a Motion to Dismiss in Lieu of an Answer, arguing that plaintiff had not done the required due diligence in identifying the potential defendants before the statute expired. We obtained affidavits of our client’s security officers, and produced photographs of them in their company uniforms as well as their business cards. The motion was contested in an opposition brief and followed by a reply brief. Having read the papers and heard argument, relying heavily on the affidavits of the client’s personnel, the court agreed that the plaintiff did not exercise due diligence in identifying our client prior to the expiration of the Statute of Limitations. Plaintiff’s Complaint against our client was dismissed.

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