Red Cross Hurricane Relief:

Margolis Edelstein has added the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund as a selected charity for 2012. The firm pledged to match the donations it received from our staff. The Red Cross continues to focus on reaching as many people as possible who have been impacted by the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster, many of those right in our own back yard. The financial donations will help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to our neighbors in need.

Rubye’s Kids Holiday Party

Margolis Edelstein is proud to once again support “Rubye’s Kids Holiday Party” this holiday season. This Philadelphia based charity puts together and hosts a holiday party, complete with gifts and a warm meal, for over 500 underprivileged children in Philadelphia (www.Rubyeskids.org). Through the support of our firm and our generous team members, we once again be collected and delivered new unwrapped toys which were distributed to children who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season.

Our thanks to all of our employees who helped these worthy causes!

   

Congratulations to our Southern New Jersey colleague, Scott Sheldon, Esq., who obtained a defense verdict on behalf of his client who was operating a truck which rear-ended another vehicle operated by the plaintiff.  The plaintiff neither owned an insured vehicle nor did she reside with a relative who owned one and, in fact, she had borrowed the vehicle she was driving from a family friend; therefore, the plaintiff’s ability to sue for non-economic damages was unlimited, i.e, a Zero Threshold or No Limitation on Lawsuit matter and she was in a position to recover for any injury proximately caused by the accident.  These unusual facts allowed the plaintiff to recovery for damages due to pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, disability, etc., without proving permanency.  The damage to the rear of the vehicle the plaintiff occupied was moderate while the damage to the front of the defendant’s truck was significant; the parties stipulated to liability before trial.
 
The 29 year old plaintiff alleged she suffered a cervical bulge (C5-6), a lumbosacral bulge (L3-4) and herniation (L4-5), all of which were confirmed by MRI, in addition to bilateral carpal tunnel and cervical and lumbar radiculopathy confirmed by EMG and by plaintiff’s medical expert who testified at trial opining the injuries were not only related to the accident, but permanent.  Our medical expert confirmed the MRI findings, but testified that there was no evidence the injuries were traumatically induced.  He conceded, based upon the history, that the plaintiff sustained temporary strain and sprain injuries, however, his physical exam of the plaintiff, 4 years following the accident, was objectively normal. 
 
On cross examination of the plaintiff, Mr. Sheldon elicited testimony which called into question whether she suffered any injuries as a result of the accident.  Accordingly, in closing, Mr. Sheldon contended the plaintiff did not suffer any injury, temporary or permanent, as a result of the accident.  Following three days of trial, the jury deliberated for one hour returning a unanimous, 7-0 defense verdict, answering No” to the question: “”Did the plaintiff sustain any injury proximately caused by the subject accident?””

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As we have done for several years, Margolis Edelstein and our staff supported Rubye’s Kids Holiday Party as our holiday charitable gift giving. This Philadelphia based charity puts together and hosts a holiday party, complete with gifts and a warm meal, for over 500 underprivileged children in Philadelphia (www.Rubyeskids.org). This year, through the support of our firm and our generous team members, we were able to provide close to 200 toys for children who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to enjoy the holiday season. Our thanks to all of our employees who helped the cause!

Margolis Edelstein is proud to be a sponsor of the “Mooseheart Heard” participating in the 13.1 mile marathon in Chicago.  The proceeds benefit the Mooseheart Child City & School for children and teens in need, located west of downtown Chicago.  Over 12,000 young people, from infants to high schoolers, have benefitted from the Mooseheart good works in the almost 100 years this organization has been in operation and we are pleased to support such a worthy cause.

In the September, 2010 issue of The Barrister, a Camden County Bar Association publication, a listing entitled Verdicts In The Court, includes a total of 32 cases tried in the Superior Court of New Jersey for the period of May 1st through June 30th, 2010.  Our Mount Laurel, New Jersey office team are listed 5 times – all for prevailing in their jury trials representing their defendant clients resulting in a “No Cause.”  Congratulations to Jeannine Clark, Thomas Grimm, Robert Kaplan (2 “No-Cause” listings) and Colleen Ready!

The Workers’ Compensation team is proud to have another member ascend to the bench. Our former partner, Tina Rago, was appointed to the bench as a Judge in Lancaster County where she continues to hear cases and Sandra Craig, a member of our appellate Workers’ Compensation practice, has been appointed to serve as a Workers’ Compensation Judge in Philadelphia.

We regret the departure of talented colleagues at the same time, we are delighted the Bar recognizes quality legal minds. We wish both Tina and Sandra continued success.

 The PA Superior Court, in an opinion written by Judge Gantman, reversed the August 2, 2006 jury award totaling $3,000,000 for Prime Medica Associates on a breach of contract claim and remanded with instructions.

 Prime Medica Associates (PMA) the owner of an office building insured by Valley Forge Insurance Company (VFIC) suffered casualty and vandalism losses when its tenant, Tenet Healthcare Systems, abandoned the building during March 2001, stopped making rent payments on April 1, 2001 and removed some of the office equipment.  Further losses arose when the building was vandalized on April 16, 2001 and medical equipment was again taken.  PMA  was unsuccessful in re-leasing the space and filed suit against Tenet on September 15, 2001.  A jury awarded damages on May 30, 2003.  PMA filed suit against VFIC on November 4, 2004, more than 3 years after the vandalism and casualty losses, claiming VFIC had breached the policy by failing to cover the casualty losses stemming from Tenet’s departure and the later acts of vandalism.  The jury decided the VFIC case on August 2, 2006 and awarded $3,000,000 in damages to PMA.

 VFIC appealed on the basis that the insurance policy included a suit limitation clause, requiring PMA to bring any legal action within two years of the date on which the loss or damage occurred.  PMA, on the other hand, claimed that it was induced to refrain from suing while VFIC investigated the claim.  PMA also averred that VFIC’s attorney had a duty at deposition to raise the running of the limitations period and was therefore estopped from raising such a defense as it was waived.  The court disagreed with PMA noting that waiver occurs by a party’s express declaration or undisputed acts or language so inconsistent that it leaves no opportunity for a reasonable inference to the contrary.  The court referred to four separate letters from VFIC during the limitations period referencing the importance and requirements of the limitations provision in the policy and noted that PMA failed to request any relief from or extension of the limitations period.  The court also noted that the mere declaration that the insurer was investigating the claim was insufficient to prove PMA was induced to forbear from commencing suit.


Dated:  March 5, 2009

7th Annual Kidney Walk at the Philadelphia Zoo – Margolis Edelstein has worked to help people understand the need for early detection of kidney disease. In addition to raising funds for research and help for patients and their families, the Kidney Walk is a great way to bring the community together! With your help, we will be able to make a difference in chronic kidney disease!

In State Farm v. Rosenthal, the Third Circuit was asked to review an insurer’s declaratory judgment action against an insured alleging that his underinsured motorist claim was time barred by Pennsylvania’s four-year statute of limitations on contract claims. In Rosenthal, the Third Circuit affirmed the ruling for the insured on alternate grounds, based on a prediction that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would start running the statute of limitations on the date on which an insured settles with or obtains an award from the adverse driver for less than the value of his damages.

If you would like to obtain a copy of the opinion or have any questions or comments about the case, please contact Tom Gebler at 412-355-4975 or tgebler@margolisedelstein.com.

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