Thomas Davies filed a civil suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County against Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in august 2001 under Federal Employers' Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. §§ 51-60 (1986) for the injuries that he received during his service as a locomotive engineer for SEPTA. The two issues that were in question are the issue of limitation and local rules for litigation proceedings. Contending SEPTA’s negligence he pleaded that he was not provided a safe work place which is a mandatory prerequisite under the provisions of law. To be very precise Davies put before the court that he went through repetitive stress injuries and cumulative trauma disorders while his service with SEPTA. Thomas claimed before the court that at several occasions he described these problems to the concerned people of SEPTA but the employer failed to provide a safe work atmosphere to him which resulted in this dreadful incident. He further informed the court that he was unable to continue with his job after the second surgery that he undergone in June 2001.
SEPTA on the other hand filed a motion requesting for summary judgment. SEPTA argued that Davies case was not maintainable due to the three year limitation bar on the case. SEPTA argued that the cause of action arose in June 1996 when Davies was diagnosed having carpal tunnel syndrome when he was inspected by Dr. Motley. Davies in his reply to the motion which was filed on 29December 2003, said that he was not recommended by Dr. motley that his health condition was related to the work thus the question that when his action actually accrued was in dispute and for this reason the issue of material fact should be precluded from summary judgment.
Based on their observations, the court opined on 30 January 2004 that evidence of the case suggests that Dr. Motley had suggested Davies that he is suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome due to excessive amount of stress on his hands and Davies from June 1996 Davies “knew or should have known, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, the essential facts of injury and cause.” Based on their findings of the case the trial court granted SEPTA's motion for summary judgment however Davies’ claims against SEPTA were dismissed with prejudice by order dated January 7, 2004. The trial court seemed to be convinced by the arguments of SEPTA and did not buy the arguments presented by Davies.
The superior court vacated the order that was passed by the trial court in this case. The superior court relied heavily on the Eddy v. Hamaty case while deciding this case. The superior court observed this case and held that the trial court did not apply its own mind when the appellant demanded his doctor’s report as continuance of the supplement. The court observed that we acknowledge the discretionary right of the court to permit supplementation but the court did not recognize that such decisions are in their province. We admit that trial court would have reached the same conclusion by applying new rules but refusal to applying these rules is abusing of their discretionary powers. The court’s refusal to allow the case to be continued and seizing appellant’s opportunities to supplement the records is “Day Backward” program .
"In The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania." Courts of Pennsylvania. 1 April 2012