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November 2014 News from Feldman Shepherd

November 1, 2014

$8 Million Recovery for Man Rendered Paraplegic by Defective Treestand

On October 4, 2010, the plaintiff was hunting in southeastern Pennsylvania. He was using a “climbing treestand” designed by Lone Wolf Manufacturing, Inc. An undersized bolt that secured a rubber belt connecting the upper part of the climbing tree to the treestand broke in half, causing the plaintiff to fall to the ground and sustain a paraplegic injury. During their investigation of this claim, Feldman Shepherd attorneys Daniel Weinstock and Daniel J. Mann learned of numerous other instances where this undersized quarter inch bolt had failed in other treestands, causing hunters to fall to the ground. The plaintiffs defense claimed that the treestand should have been designed with a 3/8ths” bolt instead of a 1/4″ bolt. The defendants contended that this accident was the fault of the plaintiff as he was not wearing fall protection, which would have prevented his fall and subsequent injuries. They also argued that the plaintiff did not properly maintain the treestand, as he was required to make sure that all nuts and bolts were tightened before each use. At the conclusion of discovery, the case resolved for the sum of $8 million.

$7 Million Recovery for Injuries and Death Caused by Alleged Drunk Driver

Feldman Shepherd attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann, and Edward S. Goldis secured a $7 million settlement for the adult children of a married couple involved in a collision with an alleged drunk driver. The accident caused the death of the children’s mother and debilitating injuries to their father, who were ages 75 and 76, respectively. The Feldman Shepherd team sought compensation against the driver and his employer based upon evidence that he was in the course of his employment when the accident occurred.

$2.2 Million Settlement For Lancaster Motor Vehicle Accident

On August 12, 2011, plaintiff Ms. R was driving home from work near Reading, Pennsylvania. A large pickup truck driven by the defendant was traveling in the opposite direction on the same road, and attempted to make a left turn, crossing the lane of travel of Ms. R’s car. In this head-on collision, she sustained a number of orthopedic injuries including fractured vertebrae, nasal fractures, rib fractures, left arm and leg fractures, and a collapsed lung. Feldman Shepherd attorneysAlan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann, and Edward S. Goldis filed a lawsuit against the striking driver, as well as the driver’s employer. The defendants claimed that Ms. R was speeding through the intersection and that her actions caused or contributed to this accident. Plaintiffs retained an accident reconstruction expert to demonstrate that the accident was solely the defendant’s fault. The case settled prior to trial for the sum of $2.2 million.

$1.6 Million Settlement for New Jersey Construction Worker

On November 7, 2014, after two weeks of trial in Middlesex County, NJ, Feldman Shepherd attorneys John M. Dodig andJason A. Daria reached a settlement of $1.6 million on behalf of Sergio Moreno and his wife Lisa Carr. On September 16, 2009, Mr. Moreno was injured on a construction site in Pennington, NJ when he stepped in an open hole while painting. The plaintiffs contended that the general contractor, who has overall responsibility for safety on a job site, was negligent in failing to maintain a safe work place. The plaintiffs also asserted that the plumbing subcontractor who created the hole into which Mr. Moreno fell failed to cover the hole. The defendants argued that they were not negligent and did not create the hole. As a result of the accident, Mr. Moreno sustained a lower back injury which required surgical intervention. His injuries have prevented him from returning to his trade as a painter. The settlement compensates Mr. Moreno for his future lost wages and for his pain and suffering.

Tractor-Trailer Toll Booth Crash

John M. Dodig and Jason Daria were retained by the family of an individual who was killed when a tractor-trailer collided with his vehicle at a toll plaza in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Dodig and Mr. Daria expect to prove that the driver of the tractor-trailer was in violation of several state and federal hours-of-service laws requiring him to rest for certain periods of time between shifts. The driver fell asleep at the wheel while approaching a toll booth. It mounted a cement median and landed on top of the client’s car, engulfing both vehicles in flames. A Wrongful Death and Survival Action has been filed by Mr. Dodig and Mr. Daria on behalf of the family of the decedent.

Brain Damage from Tractor-Trailer Accident

Feldman Shepherd attorney Alan M. Feldman has been retained to represent a Franklin County, Pennsylvania resident who suffered traumatic brain damage and other crippling injuries when he was struck by a negligent tractor-trailer driver. Following a long hospital admission, the injured victim is being cared for by his family at home. It is anticipated that a lawsuit will commence against all responsible parties within the next few weeks.

Misdiagnosed Angina Results in Death

John Dodig and Evan Liu, M.D., have initiated suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against a family practitioner for negligently failing to recognize obvious signs of new onset unstable angina in a 52-year-old man with a long history of cardiac disease. Instead of sending this patient directly to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment, the physician discharged the patient from the office with treatment for gastric reflux. Unfortunately, the patient presented to the local Emergency Department in the throes of an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), and despite aggressive efforts, died soon after, leaving behind a devastated wife and family.

Negligent Misdiagnosis of Back Injury Results in Unremitting Back Pain

Ezra Wohlgelernter and Evan Liu, M.D., recently initiated suit in The Superior Court of New Jersey against a neurosurgeon for negligently diagnosing a relatively benign back injury in a 30-year-old male. Instead of prescribing conservative medical care, the neurosurgeon recommended that the client undergo extensive spinal surgery — multi-level fusion with instrumentation— which has left the client with unremitting back pain and future disability. The firm has retained a well-credentialed neurosurgical expert in support of the claims asserted in the complaint.

Alan M. Feldman Defends Dog Owner

Philadelphia VIP voluntary attorney Alan M. Feldmanrepresented a homeowner who was sued after his pit bull escaped from the house and bit a USPS letter carrier. Following a hearing before an arbitration panel in Philadelphia in November, the panel found in favor of Mr. Feldman’s client. In the event of an appeal by the plaintiff, Mr. Feldman will continue to represent the defendant without charge until all proceedings are completed.

Mark W. Tanner Represents Neglected Minors

Working through the Support Center for Child Advocates,Mark W. Tanner recently represented two little girls who had been neglected by their mother, prevailing in a trial to terminate the parental rights of the incompetent parents. Mr. Tanner subsequently succeeded in securing an order which resulted in their adoption by a wonderful family who will raise them in a loving home.

News and Events

  • Feldman Shepherd partner Carol Nelson Shepherd was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer’s “For Wrongful-Birth Cases, Appeals May Be Just Beginning” article that highlighted the state Supreme Court hearing of Sernovitz v. Dershaw, which may ultimately shape the fate of wrongful-birth and wrongful-life lawsuits in Pennsylvania.
  • Feldman Shepherd partner Roberta “Bobbie” Pichini travelled to Israel to be part of a symposium on November 11 in Tel Aviv sponsored by the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) as part of its International Collaborative initiative. The IATL International Collaborative program tasks U.S. and International Fellows with planning and presenting programs of interest to the bench and bar of host countries, with the goals of promoting the rule of law, developing closer relationships with international trial bars, and fostering innovative legal experiences. Ms. Pichini moderated the portion of the symposium titled Judicial Administration–Securing a Just, Speedy, and Inexpensive Determination–which focused on the ways in which Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and various federal jurisdictions have made great strides in case management, dramatically shortening the time from filing to trial.