On The Pulse...Marshall Dennehey Is Happy To Celebrate Our Recent Appellate Victories

Chuck Craven (Philadelphia, PA) and Audrey Copeland (King of Prussia, PA), who wrote the Brief of Appellant and argued the appeal, respectively, convinced the Commonwealth Court to vacate a Philadelphia jury's verdict of $550,000 against our client, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and another defendant and to remand the matter for a new trial on damages. The plaintiff claimed she had tripped and fallen in a tree pit created in the sidewalk when a tree was planted as part of a "greening of Philadelphia" project. The Society was represented by another firm at trial, and the case was transferred to our appellate department for the Society's appeal. The court held that the jury's award of $550,000 for the plaintiff's broken wrist was against the weight of the evidence and "so grossly excessive as to shock our sense of justice." Colon v. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, at 154 CD 2008 and 302 CD 2008 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2009).

Audrey Copeland (King of Prussia, PA) obtained a Commonwealth Court affirmance of the termination secured by trial counsel Kristy Olivo (Cherry Hill, NJ) in Edwards v. W.C.A.B. (Temple University), No. 1168 CD 2008 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2008). The court held that the employer's physician's testimony of full recovery, which was based upon an absence of findings as to the accepted work injury, satisfied Lewis v. W.C.A.B. (Giles and Ransome), 919 A. 2d 922 (Pa. 2007) and that our client, the employer, did not have to identify the precise moment when the work injury resolved or submit new evidence, such as diagnostic testing.

John Hare (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in having the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirm the award of summary judgment to an architectural firm, which had designed a prison, on the basis that it was not responsible as a matter of law for a prisoner's suicide. Barker-Puza v. Carbon County et al., 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 25613 (3d Cir. 2008).

John Hare (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in having the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirm the district court's dismissal of the plaintiff's claim that a realty company conspired with other defendants to boycott the plaintiff's real estate listing service in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1. Just New Homes, Inc. v. Beazer Homes et al., 293 Fed. Appx. 931 (3d Cir. 2008).

John Hare (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in having the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirm the award of summary judgment to an asbestos manufacturer on the basis that any exposure to the manufacturer's product was casual and minimal. Vanaman v. DAP, Inc., et al., 2849 EDA 2006 (Pa. Super. February 11, 2009).

Walter Kawalec and Dana Argeris (Cherry Hill, NJ) succeeded in having the New Jersey Supreme Court reverse the decision of the Appellate Division on a question of coverage under PIP, where the plaintiff was in an auto without permission of the owner. Hardy v. Abdul-Mtin, 198 NJ 95 (2009).

Defense Digest, Vol. 15, No. 2, June 2009