_Notable Insurance Defense Results
YATZUN v. STEAMTOWN MALL, Lackawanna County//Judge Cottone//Spring, 2000
Defense verdict in trip and fall case arising out of incident that occurred at local mal.
BROOKS v. COSTANTINO, Wayne County//Judge Conway//Jan., 2001
Non-suit secured at trial of motor vehicle accident case on grounds that Plaintiff’s expert could not specify as to which of the Plaintiff’s multiple car accidents caused which injuries alleged.
PERKINS v. HAYNES v. MENDOZA, Susquehanna County//Judge Seamans//May,
Defense verdict on limited tort issue in a motor vehicle accident case.
WEINS v. FINLEY, Lackawanna County//Judge Nealon//February 2006
Defense verdict secured for our insured defendant client in a multi-car motor vehicle accident; Co-defendant, represented by different counsel, hit with a $40,000 verdict.
EVANCHO v. CALLICOAT, Susquehanna County//Judge Seamans//May 2006
Defense verdict on limited tort issue in a motor vehicle accident case. Plaintiff awarded $5,000 for economic damages which he was entitled to in any event.
MONTANA v. KLODIANA, Monroe County//Judge Miller//June, 2007
Defense verdict in favor of our client entered by jury after deliberating for only 24 minutes in a rear-end “tap” case. After trial, juror requests Attorney Daniel E. Cummins’ business card for future reference.
ORZEL v. MORGAN, Lackawanna County//Judge Nealon//June, 2007
Verdict favorable to defense secured in a case where insured defendant, while driving with a BAC of .354 smashes head-on into the plaintiffs’ vehicle on Christmas Eve, 2001 as the plaintiffs and their two toddlers in carseats were proceeding from one Christmas Dinner and going to the next to the next family dinner to open presents. Fortunately, the children were not hurt. Mom and Dad plaintiffs claimed personal injuries.
Plaintiffs’ demand was $3 million dollars, i.e. $1.5 million for each
Plaintiff. Our tender of $50,000.00 policy limits for each Plf, i.e.
$100,000.00 offer, was rejected as being tendered too late. Case
eventually settled for $75,000 after defense-favorable verdict obtained at
trial, including an award of only $5,000 in compensatory damages for the Plaintiff-Husband.
SOORIK SEGHMONMASIHI v. RICHARD SCHWEIKHARD AND
TRUCKING, Middle District//Judge Nealon//October, 2007
Defense-favorable verdict of $65,000 secured in a trucking accident case
where the pre-trial demand was $400,000 and the pre-trial offer was $150,000.
THOMAS v. BUNCH, Luzerne County//Judge Mundy//September, 2008
Defense-favorable $5,000 jury verdict secured in a case where liability was admitted and the extent of the Plaintiff’s damages was disputed. For the second time in his career, following trial, juror requests business card of Attorney Daniel E. Cummins for future reference.
CHANGES IN THE LAW
ORZEL v. MORGAN, No. 03-CV-4929 (Lacka. Co. Feb. 4, 2008)
Prevailed in case involving important issue of how to handle complex interplay between claim for future medical expenses and application of Act 6 of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. This decision of the court received much attention at CLE courses and on the PATLA website and was also the subject of an article in The Pennsylvania Law Weekly.
BREMER v. PRUDENTIAL, 2004 WL 1920708 (M.D.Pa. August 18, 2004).
Prevailed in federal court through arguments and briefs formulated by Timothy E. Foley, Esquire and Daniel E. Cummins, Esquire, on the compelling issue in automobile insurance law as to the amount of the credit due to a UIM carrier when there were multiple negligent motor vehicle operators involved in the subject accident. The Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania agreed with position put forth that the UIM carrier was entitled to a credit of the full amount of the tortfeasor’s liability limits and not just the amount of the tortfeasors’ respective payments in their settlement of the lawsuit. This decision of the court received much attention at CLE courses and was also the subject of a prominent article in The Pennsylvania Law Weekly.
SEKOL v. ALBRECHT, 2001 WL 1179417 (Lacka.Com.Pl. 2001) aff’d 832 A.2d 552 (Pa.Super. 2003).
Our firm convinced Judge Terrence Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, and later, the Superior Court, that the Plaintiff’s case failed to breach the serious injury threshold of the limited tort alternative. Possibly the first case to have secured a summary judgment on the limited tort issue in Lackawanna County under the more stringent standard issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Washington v. Baxter, 719 A.2d 733 (Pa. 1998).
BOWERSOX v. PROGRESSIVE, 781 A.2d 1236 (Pa.Super. 2001) appeal denied 806 A.2d 857 (Pa. 2002).
Prevailed at the trial court and Superior Court levels through arguments and briefs formulated with Timothy E. Foley, Esq. on the important issue of whether a set-off provision of an automobile insurance policy prevents a claimant from recovering under the liability portion and the UIM portion of a single policy of insurance. This decision of the court received much attention at CLE courses and was also the subject of a prominent article in The Pennsylvania Law Weekly.
Areas of Practice