Fields v. Wawa

Client: Wawa, Inc. and Wild Goose Holding Co., Inc.

Court: Superior Court, Camden County

Brief Attorney:  Betsy G. Ramos, Esq. and Voris M. Tejada, Jr., Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Plaintiff initiated suit after sustaining serious injuries in a fall which occurred at a Wawa store at 1:40 a.m. While plaintiff did not remember slipping or falling, he alleged that when he regained consciousness, he observed a large puddle of water in the area where his head landed. Video surveillance footage showed that when plaintiff fell, he fell on top of a yellow “wet floor” cone which had been placed by Wawa’s employees.

Capehart & Scatchard, P.A., on behalf of Wawa, filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. While there was a dispute as to whether there was any water on the floor which caused plaintiff’s fall, the Court found that, even assuming the existence of water, Wawa satisfied its duty to warn by placing the above-referenced warning cone. Plaintiff argued that there was a question of fact as to whether the cone was placed in a location which gave reasonable notice of the condition. However, Capehart argued, and the Court found, that given the fact that plaintiff fell on top of the warning cone, it was clearly placed in close enough proximity to the alleged water to provide warning of same. The Court thus granted Wawa’s Motion, dismissing plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice.


Sanu Dev Serves As Moderator For Diversity & Inclusion CLE

On June 24, 2021, Capehart Scatchard Shareholder, Sanmathi “Sanu” Dev, served as the moderator for a CLE hosted by the D&I Committee of the Burlington County Bar Association.  The CLE entitled, “Race and Gender Identity Issues in Criminal Justice,” featured a discussion on how the criminal justice and prison systems treat vulnerable defendants and inmates.  Ms. Dev serves as a Co-Chair of the Burlington County Bar Association’s Diversity, Inclusion & Leadership Committee.

The CLE was presented by Robyn Gigl, Esq., a transgender attorney and author.  Ms. Gigl’s recently published legal crime thriller, By Way of Sorrow, features a transgender criminal defense attorney from New Jersey and her black transgender client who has been accused of murder.

Ms. Dev concentrates her practice on school law and labor and employment law.  She is experienced in representing, advising, and defending boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline and civil rights.  She leads Capehart Scatchard’s School Law Blog, which focuses on cases, court decisions, and current developments affecting education law in the state of New Jersey.  Ms. Dev is the Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which seeks to facilitate the Firm’s efforts to achieve and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace at every level of our organization.   Ms. Dev also serves as the Firm’s Hiring Shareholder.  She received her law degree from Rutgers Law School at Camden and her B.A. degree from Boston University.


Victor Rodriguez — Romero v. Priority Compactor

Client: Amtrust

Court: Division of Workers’ Compensation

Trial Attorney:  Claire Y. Ringel, Esq.

Brief Attorney:  Claire Y. Ringel, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

The worker was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident while bringing his work vehicle from his home to his place of employment before vacation. The case was denied as compensable based on the “going and coming” rule, that injuries prior to arriving at a workplace are generally non compensable.

Judge Del Valle-Koch conducted a bifurcated trial on the issue of compensability and, after the petitioner’s testimony and briefs, ruled in the respondent’s favor that the accident was non compensable.


Patricia Costanzo vs. Meridian Rehab

Client: Meridian Rehab/ Zurich American Insurance Company

Court: Appellate Division

Trial Attorney:  Carla P. Aldarelli, Esq.

Brief Attorney:  Maura Burk, Esq. 

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

After a full five-day trial and testimony on petitioner’s Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Disability Benefits seeking left knee treatment, the Workers’ Compensation Judge denied petitioner’s Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Disability Benefits, finding for Respondent and finding that Respondent’s medical expert was more credible than petitioner’s medical expert. The Court concluded that petitioner failed to establish that any need for treatment to her left knee was work related.

Petitioner then appealed the Workers Compensation Court’s finding.

The Appellate Division affirmed the denial of the Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Disability Benefits, finding that the Workers’ Compensation Judge properly concluded that petitioner was not entitled to additional treatment to her left knee because her current condition was not caused by a work-related incident. The Appellate decision noted that there was ample evidence presented at the workers’ compensation level to support the Judge’s conclusion that petitioner’s current left knee condition was not related to her work injury.

To view the case, please click here.


Capehart Scatchard Hosts Panel Discussion For First Year Law Students

Capehart Scatchard hosted a remote panel discussion on June 22, 2021 for first year law students from Rutgers Law School.  The students are part of the Rutgers Minority Student Program.

Capehart Scatchard attorneys, Ana-Eliza Bauersachs, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, and Stacey Gorin, and summer law clerks, Kristen Doyle, Sean Dugan, and Gitika Kapoor served as panelists participating in a discussion on law careers in private practice.  The panelists shared their experiences and insights about succeeding in law school, increasing diversity and inclusion in the profession, and demystifying the summer law clerk experience.  The event was hosted by Capehart Scatchard’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which Ms. Dev leads.


Rutgers Student Receives Scholarly Award from Capehart Scatchard Law Firm

Taylor Farrow was the recipient of the 22nd Annual Blaine E. Capehart Legal Writing Award, sponsored by the law firm of Capehart Scatchard.  Due to the COVID-19 health emergency, the annual award ceremony had to be cancelled. The award recipient graduated from Rutgers Law School in Camden on May 27, 2021.

The Mt. Laurel-based firm awarded Ms. Farrow with a $2,500 prize in recognition of her exemplary legal writing and research abilities.  The Firm offers this award to a graduating Rutgers law student on an annual basis in honor of the late Blaine E. Capehart.

Ms. Farrow’s piece, “Contact Tracing: Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Are Going.  The Influence “Privacy by Design” has had on Contact Tracing Apps and the Lasting Impression it will Have Well After the Pandemic is Over,” was nominated for the award by Ellen Goodman, Professor of Law, at Rutgers Law School.  Professor Goodman had this to say about the winning paper: “Taylor examined how COVID contact-tracing applications achieve public health protection without sacrificing individual privacy.  In doing so, she applied the theory of privacy-by-design to develop recommendations for federal law. This was an ambitious and timely project, which Taylor executed with great skill.”


Melissa Surinski, individually and as parent and natural guardian of Ava Surinski, minor v. Toms River Fitness for Women, Inc., d/b/a Toms River Fitness & Aquatic Center

Client: Toms River Fitness for Women, Inc., d/b/a Toms River Fitness & Aquatic Center

Court: Superior Court of New Jersey, Ocean County

Brief Attorney: Edward F. Kuhn, III, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Plaintiff, Ava Surinski (minor) opened a door to the locker room at the client’s gym after getting out of the pool. The door went over her foot causing a cut requiring stiches. Plaintiff alleged the door was in a defective condition as the removal of slip-proof mats around the pool allowed a large gap between the door and floor to exists that was large enough to go over Plaintiff’s foot causing the injury.

We obtained an engineering expert who found nothing defective with the design, installation or operation of the door. Plaintiff did not have an expert. We filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff has no evidence of negligence as they cannot prove that there was anything defective with the door. The judge granted our motion and barred Plaintiff from making any argument during trial that the door in question was defective. However, the judge denied a complete dismissal of Plaintiff’s Complaint on other grounds.


Capehart Scatchard Welcomes Summer Law Clerks

PHOTO: L to R: Mary Ellen Rose, Esq., Managing Shareholder; Kristen Doyle; Sean Dugan; Gitika Kapoor; Francine Viden, Information Specialist.

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to welcome three rising third-year law school students to its Summer Law Clerk Program.  In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Firm is pleased to be able to continue to offer the program this summer.

The Firm’s 2021 summer law clerks are:

Kristen Doyle – Rutgers Law School – Camden

Sean Dugan – Rutgers Law School – Camden

Gitika Kapoor – Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Capehart’s summer program is designed to give law clerks an opportunity to get a feel of what it would be like to be a Capehart Scatchard associate. Summer clerks work on real projects and have an opportunity to explore many areas of the law and to work directly with a number of attorneys within the Firm who concentrate in a wide variety of legal fields. In addition to research and writing, summer clerks have an opportunity to remotely attend depositions, client meetings, hearings, conferences, and closings.


Capehart Scatchard Celebrates Pride Month

Photo: L to R: Mike Northen; Lora Northen, Esq., Executive Committee Member; Ian Biluck; Kathy Biluck, Accounting Clerk; Ashley Mollenthiel Fiore, Esq., Workers’ Compensation Shareholder; Stacey Gorin, Esq., Commercial Litigation Associate.

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that in celebration of Pride Month in June, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at the firm, in conjunction with the Burlington Country Bar Association and Medford Pride on Main, helped install a pride garden at the Medford Arts Center located in Medford, New Jersey.  On May 15, 2021, volunteers from the firm, along with family members, cleaned up the yard around the center, planted flowers in rainbow-colored planters, and assisted with the hanging of pride flags.

Medford Pride on Main is a local non-profit whose mission is to create awareness, education, and support in the LGBTQ community.


Capehart Attorneys Recognized With Star Of The Quarter Award By The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that Workers’ Compensation Shareholder, Ashley T. Mollenthiel Fiore, Esq., and Commercial Litigation Associate, Stacey R. Gorin, Esq.,  served on a Burlington County Bar Association Young Lawyers Committee (“BCBA YLC”) panel receiving recognition from the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (“ABA YLD”).

The BCBA YLC was selected as one of the ABA YLD’s Spring 2021 Stars of the Quarter for its Young Lawyer/Law Clerk Q&A panel program. This event was created while recognizing that the Burlington County Judge’s law clerks have had an unconventional year. The law clerks were able to ask questions about small and large law firm application and interviewing processes, what it’s like to be a first year associate, and ways to effectively network during the pandemic. The ABA YLD recognized the Committee’s outside of the box thinking and conformity to the needs of young lawyers during this unprecedented year.

Ms. Gorin is a Trustee of the BCBA.  She earned her J.D. from Rutgers Law School in Camden, a M.A. in Professional and Business Communication from La Salle University, and a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University.  Upon law school graduation, she worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard J. Nocella, P.J.F.P. in Burlington County.  She is admitted to practice law in New Jersey.

Ms. Mollenthiel Fiore focuses her practice in the representation of employers, self-insured companies, and insurance carriers in workers’ compensation defense matters.  Prior to joining Capehart Scatchard, she served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Francis J. Orlando, Assignment Judge Civil Division. Ms. Mollenthiel Fiore serves on Capehart Scatchard’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

1 2 3 59