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Paige Joffe Installed As Camden County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Trustee

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that Litigation Department Associate, Paige A. Joffe, Esq., was sworn in as the Young Lawyer Trustee of the Camden County Bar Association. The installation ceremony took place on June 23, 2022 at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom in Collingswood, New Jersey. Her oath of office was administered by New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Lee A. Solomon.

Ms. Joffe received her B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in International Business, Legal Studies and Spanish, from Drexel University, and her J.D. from Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law.  Upon law school graduation, she worked as a judicial law clerk in the Camden County Superior Court’s Criminal Vicinage. She is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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Notable Win: Anthony Aguero v. Shailesh Lulla and Founders Insurance

Client: Founders Insurance/Penn National Insurance 

Court: Superior Court of New Jersey -Bergen County

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

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

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Lulla rear-ended him causing serious and permanent injuries. Plaintiff also alleged that the accident was caused by an unidentified car that stopped short in front of him to allow another unidentified car to exit from a parking lot. As such, Plaintiff sought uninsured motorist coverage from his carrier, Founders Insurance for the negligence of the unidentified cars.

Discovery showed that neither of the unidentified cars acted in any negligent manner. Plaintiff was able to bring his car to a stop without hitting the car in front of him that he alleged “stopped short.” Defendant Lulla testified that Plaintiff stopped in front of him and Lulla was simply not able to stop his car in time before impacting the rear of Plaintiff’s car.

We filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of Founders arguing that no negligence could be found on either of the unidentified cars and Plaintiff was thus not entitled to uninsured coverage.

The court issued an order and opinion granting Founders’ motion. The court held that it agreed with Founders’ position that the testimony of the parties proved there was no evidence of negligence on either of the unidentified cars. This was simply a rear-end car accident case between Plaintiff and Lulla. No other cars caused or contributed to causing the accident. Therefore, Plaintiff is not entitled to uninsured motorist coverage from Founders. All claims and crossclaims against Founders were dismissed with prejudice.

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Capehart Scatchard Earns 2022 “Best Law Firms” Ranking for Litigation – Insurance

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce its “Best Law Firm” ranking in the area of Litigation – Insurance (Metro, Tier 3, New Jersey) on the 2022 list published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®.

Law firms included on the list are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one attorney who has been included in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of practicing lawyers in the United States.  Betsy G. Ramos, Esq. (Litigation – Insurance) and John H. Geaney, Esq. (Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers) were recognized for this prestigious award in the 2022 edition.

“Best Law Firms” is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report. For a description of the “Best Law Firms” selection methodology please click here.

“The Best Lawyers in America” list is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which leading attorneys cast votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.  For a description of the “The Best Lawyers in America” selection methodology, please click here.

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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Melissa and Patrick Markhorst v. Liberty Mutual Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company

Client: Liberty Mutual Mid-Atlantic Insurance Company

Court: Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County

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

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

Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in Montgomery County, PA for injuries she suffered in a car accident. Plaintiff agreed to a binding arbitration with high/low parameters. The high was the defendant’s liability policy limits of $100,000. Plaintiff then filed a separate lawsuit for underinsured benefits from Liberty Mutual in Burlington County, NJ.

Plaintiff was awarded less than the defendant’s policy limits in the Montgomery County binding arbitration. Liberty then moved for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff should be collaterally estopped from further pursing her underinsured claim against Liberty Mutual since the defendant’s policy limits were not exhausted.

The trial court agreed with our position that Plaintiff was barred by the collateral estoppel doctrine as Plaintiff has a full and complete opportunity to present her case to the arbitrator and the amount of Plaintiff’s damages were found below the defendant’s policy limits. As such, Plaintiff’s underinsured claim against Liberty Mutual was dismissed.

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Linda Keeler v. George Puckhafer, Index No. 65847/2020

Client: Ameritrust Group

Court: New York Supreme Court, Westchester County 

Brief Attorney:  Alyson L. Knipe, Esq. 

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

Plaintiff alleged personal injuries from exposure to carbon monoxide in her apartment and commenced a law suit against the superintendent of the building.  In a decision dated November 18, 2021, Hon. Alexandra D. Murphy, J.S.C. found that the defendant established, as matter of law, that he did not cause the plaintiff’s juries, was not on actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition in the apartment, and that plaintiff’s medical records did not show any evidence of carbon monoxide toxicity.

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ADINA MCAULAY v. BLASKO LEASING SERVICE INC and “JOHN DOE”

Client: Ameritrust Group

Court: New York Supreme Court, Kings County, Index No. 520203/2020

Brief Attorney:  Alyson L. Knipe, Esq. 

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

Blasko Leasing Service Inc (BLS) is a New Jersey car dealership that sold a vehicle to a New York resident.  That vehicle was subsequently involved in an accident in New York.  The police accident report indicated that BLS was the registered owner and as such, Plaintiff commenced a lawsuit against BLS arguing that BLS was subject to vicarious liability under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 388.

Defendant BLS submitted an Affidavit of its owner with supporting documents to establish that it did not own the vehicle on the date of the accident and that it verified proof of financial security when the vehicle was sold.

On November 4, 2021, Honorable Loren Baily-Schiffman granted Defendants BLS’s summary judgment motion, dismissing Plaintiff’s Complaint against BLS.

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Capehart Scatchard Shareholders Named To The Best Lawyers In America© 2022 List

Capehart Scatchard Shareholders, John H. Geaney, Esq. and Betsy G. Ramos, Esq., were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, issued by BL Rankings, LLC.  Mr. Geaney was selected in the practice area of Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers and Ms. Ramos was selected in the area of Litigation – Insurance.

The Best Lawyers in America list is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which leading attorneys cast votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.  A description of the selection methodology can be viewed here.

Mr. Geaney is Co-Chair of Capehart Scatchard’s Workers’ Compensation Group. He is active in the New Jersey Self Insurers Association (Membership and Programs Committees) as well as NJ PRIMA and Kids’ Chance of New Jersey.  Mr. Geaney is a member of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network and is the author of Geaney’s New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Manual for Practitioners, Physicians, Adjusters, and Employers.

Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, Ms. Ramos, is an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department.  She is a seasoned litigator with over thirty years’ experience handling diverse matters and concentrates her practice in tort defense, business litigation,  insurance coverage,  estate litigation, employment litigation, and general litigation.

 

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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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.

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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.

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Capehart Scatchard Shareholder Trained As A Civil Mediator

Capehart Scatchard Shareholder, Betsy G. Ramos, Esq., recently completed the required 40-hour Civil Mediation Training Program conducted by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM).  Completion of this program meets the training requirements for Rule 1:40 Civil, General Equity, and Probate Mediation Roster of the Superior Court, as maintained by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts. Ms. Ramos is expanding her practice to include serving as a mediator in civil cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, Ms. Ramos, a Mansfield resident, is an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department.  She is a seasoned litigator with over 25 years’ experience handling diverse matters and concentrates her practice in tort defense, business litigation,  insurance coverage,  estate litigation, employment litigation, and general litigation.

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