The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in a premises liability case defended by Margolis Edelstein Philadelphia partner Jonathan D. Herbst. Plaintiff was seriously injured when he tripped over a dolly in a dark trailer. At deposition, plaintiff admitted that he could not see inside the trailer and that he was “totally blind.” Nonetheless, he proceeded to walk approximately five to seven feet inside the trailer when he tripped and fell. Judge Saltz, Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, ruled that, under these circumstances, no duty was owed to plaintiff. On appeal the appellate court agreed with the defense position that defendant owed no legal duty to the plaintiff.

Our partner, Jonathan Herbst, will be presenting The Defense Perspective of The Pennsylvania Fair Share Act as part of The Pennsylvania Bar Institute program scheduled for Friday, April 27, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  For more information:

Jonathan Herbst & Bill Remphrey presented a webinar for XL Insurance claim professionals on Back Injuries: Surgical Advances and Treatment.

Congratulations to partner Jonathan Herbst, Esq., who, after eight years of litigation due to bankruptcies and sorted facts, prevailed on behalf of our client in the matter of Moss v. Stratus Enterprise, Inc.  The plaintiff was seated in her stopped auto when it was “side-swiped” by a tractor-trailer resulting in closed head trauma, permanent brain damage and an alleged loss of earing capacity in excess of $400,000.00.  The trailer was owned by Stratus, a local trash hauler, who hired owner-operators as haulers, Baldi Trucking Company’s driver operated the power unit.  Baldi Trucking Co. ceased operations and neither a company representative, nor the driver, could be located for trial.  Plaintiff sued Stratus contending they were vicariously liable alleging:  Stratus had the right to control Baldi’s drivers; Stratus vetted Baldi drivers by DOT background checks and driver histories; Stratus’ staff accompanied Baldi drivers, on occasion, instructing them regarding hook up and disconnecting trailers, preparation of invoices and to confirm the operator was conforming to DOT regulations.  The facts further revealed: Baldi submitted invoices to Stratus for each load delivered and was paid a lump sum per load; Baldi paid its own taxes; Baldi drivers were given directions on where to go by a Baldi dispatcher and the operators could start and end their day whenever they wanted.
The jury was instructed that the right to control, even if it was not exercised, was sufficient to subject Stratus to liability for the negligence of Baldi’s driver.  After brief deliberations, the jury found in favor of Jonathan’s client, last week.