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Marriott guest alleged injuries caused by slip on pool deck










U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Injury Type(s):

neck; neck-sprain, cervical;
neck-strain, cervical;
other-soft tissue; other-massage therapy; other-physical therapy; wrist; foot/heel-fracture, toe

Case Type:

Premises Liability – Swimming Pool, Hotel or Motel; Slips, Trips & Falls – Trip and Fall; Premises Liability – Dangerous Condition, Negligent Repair and/or Maintenance

Case Name:

Catherine Gardner and Kurt Gardner v. E.J. Delmonte Corp., Delmonte Hotel Group, Marriott International Inc., and Marriott Residence Inn,
No. 2:15-cv-03349-HB


September 15, 2016



Kurt Gardner (Male), 

Catherine Gardner (Female, 40s)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Gerald B. Baldino Jr.;
Sacchetta & Baldino;
Kurt Gardner, Catherine Gardner

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Trevor Sherwood II; Pools; Brick,
NJ called by:
Gerald B. Baldino Jr. ■ William Murphy; D.O.; Physical Medicine; Media,
PA called by:
Gerald B. Baldino Jr.


E.J. Delmonte Corp., 

Delmonte Hotel Group, 

Marriott Residence Inn, 

Marriott International Inc.

Defense Attorney(s):

Anthony R. DeLuca;
Styliades, Mezzanotte & Hasson;
E.J. Delmonte Corp., Delmonte Hotel Group, Marriott Residence Inn, Marriott International Inc.

Defendant Expert(s):

Curt Miller;
Orthopedic Surgery;
PA called by:
Anthony R. DeLuca


Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.


On June 15, 2013, plaintiff Catherine Gardner, a psychologist in her 40s, tripped and fell at a Marriott Residence Inn, in Rochester. According to Gardner, after using the hotel’s hot tub, she walked to retrieve a towel when she stepped in a pool skimmer on the pool deck, causing her to fall. The skimmer lid was not properly secured and it flipped when she stepped on it, she claimed. She suffered injuries to her toe, wrist, and neck. Gardner sued the hotel and hotel-owner E.J. Delmonte Corp., alleging that they were negligent in allowing a dangerous condition to exist on the premises. The hotel was dismissed, prior to trial, and the case proceeded against E.J. Delmonte. The company stipulated to liability, and the trial focused on issues of causation and damages.


The day after her accident, Gardner presented to an emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a sprain to her right (dominant) wrist, a sore neck, and a fracture of the right hallux (big) toe. She was placed in a boot and remained non-weight-bearing in the ensuing weeks. Her wrist sprain resolved a week later. Gardner underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a cervical sprain and strain. She treated with eight months of physical therapy (e.g., exercises, massage) and presented to a physiatrist, who recommended epidural painkilling injections, which she declined. In the ensuing years, Gardner treated with another course of physical therapy and pain medication. She sought to recover $6,776.99 in past medical costs. Gardner’s expert in physical medicine opined that her foot pain was permanent, because the fracture occurred near the joint, and her sprain and strain was chronic, because it superimposed onto degenerative changes. Gardner testified that her ongoing problems cause difficulty performing household duties (e.g., yardwork), walking long distances, heavy lifting, and repetitive motion with her foot. Moreover, due to her condition, she is unable to care for her husband (who suffers from early-stage dementia) the way that she wanted to. She sought damages for past and future pain and suffering, and her husband sought to recover damages for loss of consortium. E.J. Delmonte’s expert in orthopedic surgery acknowledged Gardner’s injuries, but opined that she made a full recovery and needed no further treatment.


Gardner and her husband were determined to receive $311,776.99.

Catherine Gardner: $6,777 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost; $300,000 Personal Injury: pain and suffering; Kurt Gardner: $5,000 Personal Injury: loss of consortium

Trial Information:


Harvey Bartle III





Trial Length:


Trial Deliberations:


Jury Vote:


Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.