Firm Newsletter: January, 2018

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Black Ice = $200,000 Verdict

We represented Helen Drugan, a youthful and energetic 85-year-old woman who was employed full time as a sales associate and, despite her age, worked long hours and had an extremely active social life. She was also the primary caretaker for her 67-year-old son, who had some health issues. On the day of the accident, she parked her car and stepped onto a parking lot that was very slippery. There had not been any recent precipitation, but our expert later established that the slope of the parking lot caused accumulated snow to melt during the day and freeze overnight. We also argued to the jury that the property managers knew that Helen would come to work as early as 5A.M. because she would personally greet the security people every day. The defendants asserted that the parking lot was safe and Helen fell on “black ice,” claiming they could not be responsible for such a condition. The jury disagreed, awarding $200,000 for Helen’s injury, which included a broken arm and various neck and back injuries.

Loss of Finger Results in $650,000 Arbitration Award

We represented “Jamie W.” who was employed as a private sanitation hauler. As part of his job, Jamie went to various businesses and apartment complexes to unload large dumpsters. At a particular apartment complex, Jamie had to maneuver the dumpster into the parking lot so it could be emptied. On one very cold day, as he was pulling a heavy dumpster toward the trash truck, Jamie’s feet slipped due to a patch of ice. The dumpster, still moving, crushed his hand. When Jamie removed his glove he discovered part of his finger was entirely severed. During discovery, the property manager admitted that there various potholes in the parking lot that would freeze during the cold weather but that nothing had been done to address the problem. Jamie, only 24 years of age at the time, needed a prosthetic finger on his injured hand. We ensured that the company that made the prosthetic address its duration (3-5 years) and projected the costs for replacement over our client’s life expectancy. Upon submission to binding arbitration, an award of $650,00 was returned in Jamie’s favor.

Water Flows Down Hill

We represented a pedestrian that was walking the steep hills of Manayunk. As she was walking, she fell due to a patch of ice in front of a property that was actually no longer in business. We had originally thought that we would not be able to help the woman because the property where the fall occurred was vacant and carried no insurance coverage. However, when we brought in a property expert, it was discovered that another business owner negligently allowed water to stream downhill and accumulate onto this vacant property. It was then that we were able to establish that the property owner up the hill from the vacant property caused this dangerous condition. We secured a significant confidential settlement for our client.

Incredible (and sometimes downright unbelievable) stories of things that happened with cases.
(Really, they did.)

#meetoo Hits the Courtroom

We recently were involved in a trial in Philadelphia over a failure to accurately diagnose a fracture. The case hinged on whether a particular X-ray was read correctly. We retained a board-certified radiologist who happened to be a woman. The other side retained a male radiologist.

During the trial, the defense attorney refused to refer to our expert as “Doctor,” instead calling her “Miss” or “Maam,” yet always referring to their own male exert as “Doctor.” After lengthy questioning, our expert asked the defense attorney why he refused to call her “Doctor.”

He was stopped in his tracks and had no good answer. The jury got the point because they were all nodding their heads in approval of our expert. Seems like that #metoo movement is everywhere.

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