“He Said/She Said”: How to Prove Your Client’s Case with an Event Data Recorder. By Jolee Bovender and Gary N. Stewart. In trucking litigation, we frequently hear and use the terms “ECM,” “download,” and “black box” when referring to the electronic control module data available for download from a tractor involved in a collision.
For Pennsylvania Public Safety Employees Injured in a Motor Vehicle: No Subrogation for Benefits Paid Under the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act. By Nigel A. Greene.
Global Law Experts, a leading online legal reference guide, has named Rawle & Henderson LLP the 2016 Commercial Motor Vehicle Law Firm of the Year in New Jersey. Our CMV Section is composed of more than twenty attorneys who focus their practice on commercial motor vehicle defense.
Pennsylvania – We Have You Covered. Three attorneys in the Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh offices of our Commercial Motor Vehicle Section have been selected as 2016 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. We are the only law firm to have CMV attorneys selected as Super Lawyers/Rising Stars in all three cities spanning the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
PUNITIVE DAMAGES. Can the use of a hand-held cell phone by a CMV driver be considered punitive damages? In most jurisdictions, the general rule is that punitive damages are appropriate when an individual’s actions are of such an outrageous or egregious nature as to demonstrate intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct.
On December 2, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) published a rule restricting the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (“CMV”). The rule took effect on January 3, 2012. See 49 CFR § 392.82; see also 76 FR 75470.
Anthony D. Luis, an attorney in our New York City office, was elected a partner effective January 1, 2016. David R. Chludzinski, an attorney in our Pittsburgh office, has been named Of Counsel to the Firm. Jonathan Danko has joined our Harrisburg office as an associate. Nigel A. Greene, a partner in our Philadelphia office, sat as a Judge at the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s 13th Annual Mock Trial Tournament, The Quaker Classic Invitational, in November 2015.
NEW JERSEY—Summary Judgment: No Principal-Agent Relationship. Rawle & Henderson LLP was recently granted summary judgment in a case involving the fact-sensitive question of whether an agency relationship existed between co-defendants.
PENNSYLVANIA: Amendments to Expert Discovery. By David R. Chludzinski. Within the past year, a new amendment to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure has gone into effect regarding the discovery and disclosure of communications between an attorney and an expert.
PENNSYLVANIA: Can I Get My Case Transferred from Philadelphia County? by Gary N. Stewart. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—the City of Brotherly Love—is known for a lot of things. Cheesesteaks, the Phillies baseball team, our “Iggles” football team, Rocky Balboa. And in the litigation world, Philadelphia is known as one of the worst defense venues in the state, if not the entire country.
PENNSYLVANIA: Admitted Liability/Reduced Damages. By Kerry A. May and Nigel A. Greene. Our client, a package delivery company, faced a daunting case of liability. On July 7, 2011, under clear skies, its driver struck a vehicle driven by plaintiff. The accident occurred at the intersection of New Bold Road and Canal Road in Falls Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
PENNSYLVANIA: Punitive Damages – No Direct Negligence Claim Against Employer. By Gary N. Stewart. U.S. Senior District Judge A. Richard Caputo of the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Wilkes-Barre) issued a memorandum decision confirming that federal district courts in Pennsylvania apply the “majority rule” and refuse to allow claims for negligent entrustment, supervision, monitoring and hiring to proceed when 1) the supervisor/employer defendant admits that its employee/driver was acting in the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident and 2) plaintiff does not have a viable claim for punitive damages against the supervisor/employer defendant.
NEW JERSEY: Loading and Unloading Doctrine, Part II. By James R. Callan. There have been numerous instances of third-parties seeking defense and indemnification under a truck’s liability policy merely because the injured claimant sustained injury while the truck was being loaded or unloaded.
PENNSYLVANIA: Technology in Trucking Cases. By Kevin L. Hall. Two recent decisions involving the use of technology likely foreshadow the nature of evidence in motor vehicle accident cases.
SUPER LAWYERS. Rawle & Henderson transportation attorneys Timothy J. Abeel and Robert A. Fitch have been selected as 2014 Super Lawyers by Law & Politics. PENNSYLVANIA RISING STARS. David R. Chludzinski and Lane E. Brody have been selected as 2014 Pennsylvania Rising Stars.
Looking back at 231 years of legal work: Rawle & Henderson in Phila. is considered the oldest U.S. law firm. By Chris Mondics, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER. So this is what history looks like in real time. For nearly 231 years, lawyers for Rawle & Henderson L.L.P. have been plying courthouses in Philadelphia for clients with urgent legal needs, and that would make it the oldest law firm in the United States.
NEW YORK: Accident in New York State Requires Filing of MV-104 Form. By Gary N. Stewart. The State of New York has a MANDATORY requirement that a state-issued form be prepared and signed by the driver and submitted to the state within ten (10) days of just about any accident that occurs in the State of New York.
PENNSYLVANIA: Defense Verdict: Smoke & Mirrors, by Gary N. Stewart. ABA JOURNAL: The Old One – Philly firm’s history dates back to Ben Franklin – article on Rawle & Henderson in February 2014 ABA Journal.
AV PREEMINENT. Rawle & Henderson transportation attorneys Timothy J. Abeel and Robert A. Fitch recently received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell’s® Peer Review Ratings™ system.
PENNSYLVANIA: IS YOUR TRUCK DRIVER A “PROFESSIONAL DRIVER”? – Chapter Two. By Gary N. Stewart and David R. Chludzinski. In 2011 we wrote that the law in Pennsylvania, as well as numerous other jurisdictions, is that there is no different or higher standard of care for a truck driver than any other motorist. (TLU, Vol. 12, No. 2, IS YOUR TRUCK DRIVER A “PROFESSIONAL DRIVER”?)
PENNSYLVANIA: Punitive Damages and the Handheld GPS. By Gary N. Stewart. Judge Terrance R. Nealon of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, (Scranton) Pennsylvania recently issued a 20-page opinion granting our Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and dismissing claims of punitive damages against a driver and his employer for the use of a handheld GPS at an intersectional accident in Steven Rockwell v. Glenn Knott and New Prime, Inc., C.C.P. No: 12-CV-1114.
PENNSYLVANIA: EMPLOYMENT LAW. Summary Judgment Granted. Kelly Young was hired as a truck driver by J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., in August 2008. In March 2010, one of Young’s co-workers made a sexually graphic motion to Young. At that time, Young did not report the incident.
ANNOUNCEMENTS. David R. Chludzinski has moved from our Harrisburg, PA office to our Pittsburgh, PA office. Robert A. Fitch has been selected to speak at the Arkansas Trucking Seminar in September.
PENNSYLVANIA SUPER LAWYERS. Rawle & Henderson LLP is pleased to announce that Cynthia M. Certo and Timothy J. Abeel were named 2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and the publishers of Philadelphia Magazine.
NEW JERSEY: Loading and Unloading Doctrine. by James R. Callan. New Jersey’s loading and unloading doctrine is essentially an extension of the insurance coverage for permissive users required under New Jersey’s motor vehicle financial responsibility law.
PENNSYLVANIA: Towing and Towing Storage Facility Standards Act, Part II
PENNSYLVANIA: Towing and Towing Storage Facility Standards Act. By Gary N. Stewart and Brian A. McCall. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett recently signed into law the Towing and Towing Storage Facility Standards Act. Prior to the passage of the Towing and Towing Storage Facility Standards Act, Pennsylvania’s towing industry – including tow-truck operators and storage facilities – was unregulated, which left all motorists open to being victimized by inflated towing and storage charges, difficulties involving inspection, and refusals to release property without invoice payment.
PENNSYLVANIA: PUNITIVE DAMAGES - "Don't Give Up the Ship". By Gary N. Stewart and Brian A. McCall. Pennsylvania law provides that “punitive damages are an extreme remedy available only in the most exceptional circumstances.” Generally when assessing the propriety of the imposition of punitive damages, the state of mind of the actor is vital.
PENNSYLVANIA: DEFENSE VERDICT. By: Nigel A. Greene. “The jury has reached a verdict.” The message came by way of a phone call from the courtroom. Fifteen minutes later, we sat in the courtroom waiting for the jury to return and record the verdict. The events leading up to this moment took place over three years ago. On August 5, 2008, at 11:17 a.m., a paratransit van was driving south on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG: OF COUNSEL. Rawle & Henderson LLP is pleased to announce that Diane B. Carvell has been named Of Counsel to the Firm. Ms. Carvell resides in our Harrisburg office, and she received her law degree in 1996 from Dickinson School of Law where she was the recipient of the Golub Foundation Graduate Scholarship and the Sandor Yelon Award.
PENNSYLVANIA: GOOD AND BAD. By: Diane B. Carvell. The “Good” and the “Bad” in Pennsylvania for trucking companies was evidenced recently in a memorandum opinion by U.S. District Court Judge James Munley in the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Scranton).
NEW YORK: RANDOM DRUG TESTS: POTENTIAL LIABILITY. By: Robert A. Fitch and David B. Sherman. Department of Transportation regulations deem random drug testing necessary to ensure that commercial motor vehicle operators perform their duties in the safest possible manner.
PENNSYLVANIA / CONNECTICUT: Log Violations Before Restart. By: Gary N. Stewart and David R. Chludzinski. Frequently, plaintiffs bring liability claims directly against a trucking company for the negligent hiring, supervision, monitoring, instructing and entrusting of the driver of the involved tractor-trailer.
PENNSYLVANIA 2011 SUPER LAWYERS. Rawle & Henderson LLP is pleased to announce that Timothy J. Abeel and Gary N. Stewart were named 2011 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and the publishers of Philadelphia Magazine.
PENNSYLVANIA - 1% RULE DEAD! - By: Gary N. Stewart. On June 28, 2011, Governor Tom Corbett signed tort reform legislation in Pennsylvania, limiting liability for negligence of defendants in certain civil court cases, such as trucking/motor vehicle actions.
PENNSYLVANIA - HIT FROM BEHIND - By: Gary N. Stewart and Diane B. Carvell. On June 28, 2006 at approximately 5:00 p.m., a J.B. Hunt driver was operating a tractor trailer on I-81 north near Dorrance, Pennsylvania when he was rear-ended by a straight truck driven by plaintiff.
NEW YORK - DEFENSE VERDICT. Simon v. Abele Tractor & Equipment, et al., Supreme Court of New York for Westchester County, NY
NEW YORK - LOSS OF FUTURE INHERITANCE - By: Robert A. Fitch and James R. Callan. In the pending case of Curtin v. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., Rawle & Henderson attorneys Robert A. Fitch and James R. Callan successfully appealed the trial court's decision excluding from evidence a buy-sell agreement executed by plaintiff's decedent.
PENNSYLVANIA - IS YOUR TRUCK DRIVER A "PROFESSIONAL DRIVER"? By: Gary N. Stewart and Michael T. Traxler. Truck drivers take pride in transporting freight for the benefit of the citizens of this country and the world beyond.
PHILADELPHIA - JUDICIAL HELLHOLE - By: Nigel Greene. The ninth annual survey conducted by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) ranked Philadelphia first on its list of "judicial hellholes."
CONNECTICUT - IN THE RECORDS - By: Gary N. Stewart. On June 4, 2005 at about 5:00 a.m., Rolando Vega was returning home with his family from a night at a casino.
PENNSYLVANIA - DEFENSE VERDICT - By: Dawn L. Jennings. A green light is not an unfettered right to ignore what is going on around you.
NEW YORK - BE PREPARED - By: James R. Callan. A careful reading of a plaintiff's theories of liability embodied in the Complaint is mandatory in preparing to take, and defend, the deposition testimony of the parties.
NEW YORK - EXCESSIVE VERDICT - By: Diane Carvell. Generally, the amount of damages awarded for personal injury is a question for the jury. In New York, the judgment of a jury is entitled to great deference based upon its evaluation of the evidence, including conflicting expert testimony.
CONNECTICUT - Your Driver is Your Best Man - By: Gary Stewart. On December 15, 2003, Concepcion Garcia was driving her friend, Elkin Lopez, in a 2003 silver Toyota Corolla on Interstate 84 East near Cheshire, Connecticut when she was involved in an accident that killed Lopez and injured herself.
NEW YORK - Loss Transfer & Workers Compensation. By: Robert A. Fitch and Ryan M. Burns. Under New York law, an employer who pays workers compensation benefits to an employee injured in a motor vehicle accident may be able to collect up to $50,000 in benefits from the other party's no-fault carrier.
PENNSYLVANIA - No Jackpot! By: Dawn L. Jennings. On a morning in September, Joy Grace was driving a 2004 Dodge Ram on Route 6 in Washington Township, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. At the same time, Michael Jarrett was driving a tractor owned by Werner Enterprises, Inc. on Route 87 at its intersection with Route 6. Jarrett traveled through a red light at the intersection and a collision occurred with the Grace vehicle.
PENNSYLVANIA - Negligence is Not Enough - By: James R. Callan. Conceding negligence may be where a case begins rather than where it ends.
PENNSYLVANIA - Driver Duty to Secure Load - By: Diane Carvell. A recent Memorandum decision by U.S. District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg), reaffirmed the duty of the driver and carrier to secure a load.