Federal Judge Sues Over Parking Garage Equipment Malfunction
U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe is suing two companies that make or sell vehicle access security equipment over a malfunction that left her injured more than two years ago at the Federal Courthouse in Philadelphia. Court documents say she used her key card to get onto an entry ramp into the underground parking garage, and watched a security arm rise into the air and watched a hydraulic barrier sink into the floor. Then when she started moving the barrier popped up suddenly, striking the front end of her Honda Accord and deploying her airbag, causing a broken ankle, several bruises and lacerations, and hip and back pain, and she still has medical expenses resulting from the malfunction. She is suing the company that made the barrier and the company that sold it to the government, claiming they knew it was defective, and it had failed to operate properly prior to her accident. Rufe was a Bucks County Judge before President Bush appointed her to the federal bench in 2002. Her husband John, who is a senior Bucks County judge, alleges in the lawsuit that the defendants deprived him of his wife’s services, society and comfort.