Firm Newsletter: June, 2017

Click here to download a printable pdf of this newsletter.

CASE ALERTS
National Lab Pays for Genetic Testing Error
Michael Shaffer secured a settlement for the parents of a child who contracted a severe and rare disorder that was missed through genetic testing. The clients, residents of Sacramento, CA, sought genetic counseling before having children, as the father had a rare genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) that ran in his family. EDS is a genetic disorder that causes severe vascular and connective tissue complications; it is often fatal.

The clients had sought genetic counseling to determine whether the father was a carrier; if so, they would opt for a pregnancy through in-vitro fertilization to ensure the gene did not pass to the child.

The father had bloodwork done which was sent to the defendant’s lab in Allentown, PA and the lab informed the father that the test was negative for EDS. The parents then had a child naturally. In 2012, the father developed severe complications that were similar to EDS. When new genetic testing was done it confirmed that he was, in fact, a carrier for EDS. Subsequently, testing was done on their son, which confirmed that he, too, had EDS. Had the initial test not been misread by the lab, their child would not be faced with the uncertainty of a future with EDS. However, a large settlement obtained before trial will provide for his future medical expenses.

Man Injured by Defective Paint Can at Work Turns to Shaffer & Gaier, Wins $1,000,000
A client of Michael Shaffer whom we’ll call “Matt” was employed by a concrete manufacturing plant. His responsibilities included inspecting the concrete molds for cracks and defects. When he would notice a crack or defect, he had been instructed by his employer to mark the defect with spray paint.

However, one day, as he shook a new can of spray paint, the bottom of the can flew off, creating a missile-like object that struck Matt in the face. The sheer force caused him to fracture his eye socket and lose sight in his left eye.

Shaffer & Gaier brought a product liability action against the manufacturer and seller of the spray paint can, alleging that the product was not properly tested during the manufacturing process and establishing during extensive discovery that the defendants had a history of similar incidents.

Shaffer & Gaier Saves Family Home from Major Mortgage Lender
Michael Gaier represented a son and daughter whose father was tricked into refinancing their Philadelphia home they grew up in and which had been in the family for 42 years. The clients’ father, who was 79 years of age, did not realize the negative extent of the mortgage loan terms during the refinancing process. When he died suddenly, his son and daughter were faced with the choice of paying the mortgage loan in full or lose the house.

When the lender filed a foreclosure action against the father’s estate, Shaffer & Gaier filed a counterclaim right back against the bank seeking money damages for the fraud inflicted upon the father and, in effect, the entire family. After discovery was exchanged between the parties, a confidential settlement was reached which not only included cash and reduction of the loan balance, but more importantly, the right for the clients to purchase the family home at a reduced value with excellent interest rates.

Firm Challenges Big Bank, Gets Significant Principal Reduction for Local Hero
Michael Gaier worked with a client, a fireman in Camden, NJ, after he bought a house for $252,000 and encountered fraud upon settlement. He had been promised a 6% interest rate, but at closing, the rate jumped to 10.5% with the potential to reach 16.5%.At closing, the mortgage broker advised that the man would need to obtain a second mortgage in order to qualify: an additional $60,000 in financing. Sensing his apprehension, the lender advised him that he could refinance in one year. However, when he tried refinancing later, the mortgage company refused to answer his calls or emails; they subsequently went out of business.

A large bank acquired the loan and filed a foreclosure lawsuit. However, upon Shaffer & Gaier’s sign-on as the man’s law firm, the bank withdrew its lawsuit one day before the trial. Shaffer & Gaier then brought a parallel action against the bank for predatory lending, fraud and misrepresentation of important terms of the mortgage, which resulted in a settlement that lowered the principal balance by $166,000 and negotiated a 3.5% interest rate for the remaining balance. In addition, the firm secured a 90% reduction in the principal balance of the second mortgage

AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Michael Shaffer Named President Elect of Temple American Inn of Court
Michael Shaffer has been named the president elect of the Temple American Inn of Court. The American Inns of Court, a national organization, was formed in the late 1970s by a group of judges. Wishing to reinforce polished skills, professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar, they based the principles of the organization on the traditional English model of legal apprenticeship, modified to fit the needs of the American legal system. Now, hundreds of chapters across the United States offer members the opportunity to come together and learn from one another, especially the more experienced individuals in the group. Members include judges, lawyers, law professors and third-year legal students.

Michael Gaier Presents Educational Program to NJ Homeowners
Michael Gaier recently presented a foreclosure defense seminar to homeowners at the Voorhees Camden County library. In his presentation, Gaier provided in-depth insight into how homeowners who have become delinquent in their mortgage payments have numerous legal options to save their home, either in conjunction with a foreclosure action or with other remedies. Gaier is a recognized mortgage foreclosure defense authority who has represented thousands of homeowners in matters involving loan reduction, foreclosure and predatory lending.

“THIS ONE TIME, IN COURT…”
Incredible (and sometimes downright unbelievable) stories of things that happened with cases.
(Really, they did.)

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE’RE NOT MARRIED?”

Shaffer & Gaier was contacted by the mother of two children whose husband, “Omar,” was killed in a car accident in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Omar had been performing maintenance work on water lines in Chester and was checking the line pressure while standing in a manhole. His body was positioned partially inside the manhole and partially above street level. A Chester Water Authority vehicle was parked – illegally – behind Omar. Suddenly, a vehicle lost control and struck the Chester Water Authority vehicle. The impact pushed the vehicle forward and over the manhole, striking and killing Omar.

Our client, “Victoria,” though separated from Omar, had been sharing custody of their two sons. As a matter of course, Victoria requested a copy of the death certificate through the funeral home,
where she was shockingly informed that they were divorced.

Apparently, two weeks before his death, Omar had filed for divorce in Cambria County in upstate Pennsylvania. As Victoria had never signed the paperwork, it was determined that her signature had been forged by someone.

Shaffer & Gaier mobilized investigators and legal personnel in Cambria County to have the divorce decree voided. Victoria has since brought suit on behalf of Omar’s estate so her two children
can attempt to recover damages for their father’s tragic and untimely death.

Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Authority Presents Educational Program to Voorhees Homeowners

Philadelphia, PA (September 11) — Area mortgage foreclosure defense authority Michael H. Gaier, Esq. recently presented a foreclosure defense seminar to homeowners at the Voorhees Camden County library.

In his presentation, Gaier, a Haddonfield resident, provided in-depth insight into how homeowners who have become delinquent in their mortgage payments have numerous legal options to save their home, either in conjunction with a foreclosure action or with other remedies.

Some of the topics addressed included:

    Why homeowners don’t have to leave just because the bank says so
    How homeowners can stay in their homes
    Options available that homeowners aren’t aware of

For over four years, Gaier has represented hundreds of homeowners in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, successfully securing principal loan reduction, dismissals of foreclosure lawsuits and loan modifications. In addition to defending homeowners when the bank sues them, Gaier has successfully filed dozen of lawsuits against the “big banks,” including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Bank for predatory lending and loan servicing mistakes.

Michael Shaffer Named to Montessori Board

Philadelphia, PA (July 17) –– Philadelphia area plaintiff’s attorney Michael Shaffer was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Bala House Montessori School in Bala Cynwyd, PA.

The Bala House Montessori School was founded in 1969 supporting communities in Montgomery County and the City of Philadelphia.

Shaffer, a Lower Merion resident, was originally general counsel to the Bala House and oversaw its construction and renovation project in 2003. He was nominated for a two-year term to the Board of Trustees for the Bala House Montessori School beginning for the academic year of September 2013.

Since 1990, Mr. Shaffer has dedicated his practice to representing individuals who have been injured both on and off the job representing many families for wrongful death, and individuals who have suffered severe vehicle accidents; traumatic brain injuries; severe burns; paralysis; and other types of catastrophic and career-ending injuries.

Shaffer & Gaier offers more than 45 years of combined legal experience to individuals and businesses in the areas of foreclosure defense, commercial litigation, personal injury and medical malpractice. To learn more, visit the Firm’s website.

Lunch and Learn Seminar Series: ‘Don’t Lose Your Shirt and Your Home – What Professionals Must Know About the Tricky Area of Foreclosure’

Philadelphia Attorney Michael H. Gaier, Esq. Gains Top Status With Martindale-Hubbell Rating

Philadelphia – January 29 – Philadelphia’s foremost mortgage foreclosure defense authority, personal injury and commercial litigation attorney, Michael H. Gaier, Esq. was recently rated “AV – preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, scoring 4.8 out of 5.0.

He joins a select group of lawyers recognized for their legal ability and professional ethical standards.

Gaier, a Haddonfield, NJ resident, has advised and successfully represented hundreds of metro Philadelphia property owners in mortgage foreclosure defense lawsuits, predatory lending actions, strategic defaults, and loan modifications.

He also maintains an active commercial litigation and successful personal injury practice, placing him in the courtroom on a regular basis. Among his professional activities, Gaier is a member of the Pennsylvania Association For Justice (formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association); Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association; Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and Camden County Bar Associations.

He is a frequent speaker before legal, business and community groups on a variety of legal topics.

Gaier is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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