Our Philadelphia partner, Fred Lachat, defending the interests of a General Contractor’s employee operating a piece of heavy equipment known as a “track chipper,” who ran over the plaintiff during a pipeline right-of-way maintenance project, resulting in multiple crush injuries and permanent disability, secured a defense verdict in Delaware County, PA.
Fred contended our General Contractor was, in fact, the statutory employer of the plaintiff and, therefore, plaintiff’s exclusive remedy was under the Workers’ Compensation Act and found our client to be immune from tort liability.
Our Philadelphia based partner, Fred Lachat, defended the interests of a general contractor in a construction loss and in 2009 Fred sought to tender the defense of his client to the subcontractor-employer of the plaintiff, which was then rejected by its insurer, based on a claimed exclusion for additional insured coverage. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Mutual Benefit vs Potsipoulos, 75 A3d 528 (Pa 2015), Fred renewed the tender resulting in payment of policy limits by the subcontractor’s insurer, and reimbursement of over $90,000 in litigation costs incurred by Nationwide Insurance Company in the defense of Fred’s client.
Plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries prohibiting him from future employment as a carpenter when a temporary wooden stair he had complained to his employer and other contractors of, collapsed. The court ultimately granted Philadelphia partner Fred Lachat’s summary judgment based on Workers’ Compensation immunity, but declined to grant summary judgment in favor of the company’s owner despite his status as co-employee. After a 12-day trial, Judge Powell granted directed verdict in favor of Fred’s client holding the client owed no duty to plaintiff by virtue of his ownership of the property, and that any duties arose from his employment status, and thus he was immune from tort claims. The Plaintiff had demanded 6.5 million and the jury ultimately returned a 3 million dollar verdict in his favor against the remaining defendants.
A 14 day trial before a Chester County, PA, jury resulted in a defense verdict for Philadelphia partner, Fred Lachat. The jury returned a verdict finding our duct cleaning service client was negligent, but not finding that the negligence was a factual cause of the fire. Fred retained cause and origin experts who were able to refute plaintiffs’ contentions that a flash kitchen fire ignited accumulated grease in the kitchen exhaust system. The jury agreed with defense contentions that cause was “undetermined.” Case: Evans v Semper Fi Powerwash, Chester County Court of Common Pleas.