First Union Bank v. Lena Thompkins: defended, pro bono, an elderly woman in a mortgage foreclosure action brought by First Union Bank. Successfully opened Default Judgment after establishing client was the victim of predatory lending practices. The case was covered on the six o'clock edition of 6ABC News, and the story was also covered by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Plaintiff's Experience and Highlights
Ming v. Pep Boys et al.: represented passenger in an automobile accident. The client sustained injuries to the neck requiring anterior cervical decompression and fusion surgery. Successfully obtained settlement of UIM and excess UIM prior to settlement at the trial of third-party litigation. The total settlement was over $350,000.00.
$220,000.00 for a client struck in the rear by the defendant who was traveling on Route 422 in Pottstown. One of the challenges which were confronted was that the client was "limited tort" as he did not maintain insurance on his car. As a result of the accident, the client underwent a lumbar laminectomy and fusion. Despite deposition testimony from the client, which showed relatively few ongoing complaints, the adjuster was pressed on the surgical impact of the surgery on the client's future well-being as well as the fact that such surgery weakens the spine above and below the surgical site. I emphasized to the adjuster that any future trauma could have severe, perhaps catastrophic, consequences.
$275,000.00 for a client who slipped and fell on ice-covered steps. The case was exceptionally challenging on liability, as there had been a significant ice storm in the early morning hours preceding the fall. The homeowners maintained they salted the steps throughout the storm; however, discovery confirmed various inconsistencies in the homeowner's response to the storm, thereby fostering settlement.
$425,000.00 for a client injured when she stepped into an open electrical junction box at the base of a light pole. The client was on her way to work and parked in her employer's lot. The client maintained the lot was ice-covered and dangerous, and she was forced to navigate the lot by walking across grass islands and using light poles for stability. In using one light pole, she stepped into a junction box, the lid of which had become dislodged. Deposition testimony of the property management representative confirmed no policies and procedures were in place to inspect these junction boxes and the surrounding area. Emphasis was placed on the fact that the lids to the junction boxes took a great amount of effort to dislodge, that even a cursory inspection would have revealed the danger. The box was stamped "Danger", and upon questioning of the property manager, she confirmed that the danger would not only be electrocution and death, but in stepping into the box, one could injure one's back and, like here, sustain a lumbar herniated disc.
$200,000.00 for a client who fell on an ice-covered sidewalk in front of a drug store. Liability was very challenging as the ice formed predominantly in the overnight hours, and the incident occurred very early in the morning before the store opened. It was established that several employees were in the store during the overnight hours and that no efforts were made to clear the ice from the sidewalk. The client's injury was a fractured ankle which required several surgeries to remedy.
Abreau v. Sodomsky: represented the plaintiff in rear-end accident. The defendant maintained he was not negligent in that he had a sudden blackout/seizure and that he never had any similar symptoms prior to this accident. Subpoena to the defendant's family doctor confirmed a significant prior history of blackouts/seizures, and that defendant was advised prior to this accident not to drive as he was a threat "to himself and others." The complaint was amended to add a count for punitive damages. The case ultimately settled for policy limits.
Defense Experience and Highlights
Peterson v. Goldman: represented the defendant in a motor vehicle negligence claim brought by the minor passenger. Demand: $7,500.00; Offer: $3,500.00. Non-jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $100.00. Superior Court affirmed on appeal, noting the "defense thoroughly cross-examined the witnesses and argued vigorously at trial that appellant failed to prove a compensable injury."
Alderman v. Dominguez: represented the defendant in a rear-end motor vehicle negligence claim brought by several plaintiffs. Demand: $30,000.00; offer: $5,000.00. Jury verdict for the defendant.
Baldwin v. Seward: represented the defendant in a rear-end motor vehicle negligence claim. Very contentious litigation involving Default Judgment, reservation of rights, and demand in excess of the client's insurance policy limits. Jury verdict for the defendant. The Superior Court affirmed on appeal.
Williams v. Clay: represented the defendant in a rear-end motor vehicle negligence claim brought by his passenger. The compulsory Arbitration award was for the plaintiff in the amount of $25,000.00. Jury verdict for the defendant.
Cambridge et al. v. Minor et al.: represented the defendant in a disputed liability claim. Successfully cross-examined Dr Arnold Lincow live at trial and called into question his credibility. Demand was in excess of the client's policy limits. Jury Verdict for the two plaintiffs as against my client for $250.00 each.
Allstate Insurance Co. v. Donadze: represented defendants in U.S. District Court in a Declaratory Judgment Action seeking a judicial determination of no duty to defend/indemnify in negligence claim with severe injuries. My successful defense of Allstate's Motion for Summary Judgment led to a substantial settlement in the underlying state court third-party action.
Garcia v. Baird: represented the defendant in an automobile negligence action. Plaintiff, on a bicycle, claimed the defendant made their left hand turn into him, causing a fractured nose, left eye hematoma, and spinal herniated discs. Jury verdict for the defendant.
Thomas v. Chiavatti et al.: represented the defendant driver in a two-vehicle intersectional accident where each driver claimed the other ran the stop sign. Plaintiff passenger claimed a lumbar herniated disc requiring surgery. The jury verdict was in favor of the plaintiff for $1,800.00. Liability among drivers was assessed at 50% each.