Areas of Practice
Laurie handles premises liability matters for retail facilities, daycare centers, amusement parks, homeowners and businesses involving personal injury matters and governmental entities. She handles trucking and transportation as well as automobile liability litigation. Laurie is also a certified arbitrator in Philadelphia.
Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Laurie served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gene D. Cohen in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County where she wrote judicial opinions, observed trials, and prepared lecture materials for the National Judicial College.
Laurie is a graduate of Temple University School of Law and Ursinus College.
Obtained a defense verdict in a lawsuit alleging that the defendant set off a firework that struck an 11-year-old girl, resulting in second degree burns and permanent scarring on her back. Plaintiffs alleged through two independent eyewitnesses that the defendant was the perpetrator, although the defendant was acquitted in his criminal trial. The jury was not permitted to hear any evidence regarding the criminal trial or to know that the defendant was acquitted. The jury found that the defendant was not negligent.
Defense verdict in lawsuit alleging negligent supervision by daycare facility of five-year-old child who sustained a severe fracture to his arm. Plaintiffs alleged that daycare employee was not properly "spotting" the child while he swung on the monkey bars at a local playground. Jury found defendant was not negligent because child had swung on monkey bars before without "spotting" and employee was standing just several feet away. Plaintiffs were awarded $40,000 at initial arbitration.
Defense verdict in lawsuit alleging negligence by amusement park for failing to provide a safe egress for adult on a water slide. Plaintiffs alleged that amusement park did not provide adequate assistance to adult patron who was unable to exit an inner tube and who hit her head on the bottom of the pool. Jury found defendant was not negligent because of videotape showing many patrons using the same attraction without incident and plaintiff was responsible for her own incident. Plaintiffs were awarded $15,000 at initial arbitration.
Defense verdict in lawsuit alleging negligence by amusement park for failing to provide a safe environment for five-year-old child on an "attractive nuisance" staircase. Plaintiffs alleged that amusement park did not provide sufficient padding in and around a staircase featuring a prominent television character. Jury found defendant was not negligent because defendant is not required to protect its patrons from mere accidents. Plaintiffs were awarded $8,500 at initial arbitration.
Defense verdict in lawsuit alleging assault and battery by employees of retail facility during shoplifting incident. Plaintiff alleged that retail facility was negligent for allowing two of its employees to physically assault suspected shoplifters while questioning them. Jury found defendant was not negligent because plaintiff's evidence was not credible to support that such an assault even occurred, even though plaintiff sustained an orbital fracture.
Defense verdict in a slip and fall matter. Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on a tar spot located on the sidewalk of a property rented by our clients where she sustained injuries that required surgery. Plaintiff lived only four houses away, but claimed she had never seen the tar spot before, despite having lived there for fourteen years and taking daily walks in the area. Our clients had only moved into the property three months before the fall occurred, and they had never noticed the tar spot before. Our expert engineer tested the tar spot and told the jury that it was not slippery and was not a defect. The case was complicated by the fact that there was a dusting of snow on the ground, which plaintiff claims obscured the tar spot. Plaintiff testified that the snow did not cause her fall, rather, it was the tar spot alone. The eight-member jury deliberated for 25 minutes before finding no negligence.
Defense verdict in a case slip and fall matter. Plaintiff claimed that, when a piece of the top step broke off unexpectedly, she tripped and fell down the steps inside of the home she rented from our clients. Our clients testified that they had no notice of a dangerous condition, and plaintiff presented no evidence that anyone had knowledge of the deterioration of the steps. In addition, plaintiff's six prior criminal convictions for theft, forgery, criminal trespass, etc. were all admitted into evidence. Plaintiff attempted to argue that she turned her life around shortly before the incident happened, and our incident set her back. In closing, plaintiff's attorney labeled one of our medical experts a "paid assassin" and asked the jurors to give the plaintiff "something to celebrate." The jury was out for less than a half hour and found that our clients were not negligent.
The Art of the Deposition, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2015
Premises Liability Litigation: Focus on the Slip, Trip and Fall Case, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, November 2014
Trying a Case in State Court from Start to Finish, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, July 2012, June 2014
Preservation of Evidence--Counsel's Responsibility?, Defense Research Institute 15th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, Philadelphia, PA, April 16, 2013
Handling the Slip Trip & Fall, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, August 2010, Winter 2012
Pennsylvania's New Joint and Several Liability Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, October 2011
Premises Liability Seminar, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, 2010
How the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 Will Impact our Practice, May 26, 2009
Accident Documentation and Investigation, 2007 to present
"Production of Surveillance Evidence in Personal Injury Cases," The Legal Intelligencer, Personal Injury Supplement, November 22, 2016
“It’s All About the Timing...A Guide to Producing Surveillance Evidence of the Plaintiff in Personal Injury Cases,” Defense Digest, Vol. 22, No. 3, September 2016
"Managing a Litigation Practice From a Woman's Perspective," The Pennsylvania Lawyer, July-August, 2014
"Let's Spare Some Trees - Standard Discovery Requests in Philadelphia Arbitration Cases," Defense Digest, Vol. 11, No. 3, September 2005
"With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?" Defense Digest, Vol. 10, No. 4, December 2004
"The Jury Can Only Follow the Instructions It's Given: An Analysis of Vallone v. Creech," Defense Digest, Vol. 9, No. 3, September 2003