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Personal Injury Archives

Security Guard Injured By Thiefs Car

As a security guard for a retail store located in a mall, the client followed a young man who had stolen a leather jacket into the parking lot. The thief's car nearly ran over the client, causing the client to jump out of the way, injuring the client's knee. There was no actual contact between the car and the client. The automobile insurance carrier denied coverage to the thief claiming an intentional act exclusion. Rosen Louik & Perry, Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation Lawyers, were able to prove that the thief's acts with the vehicle were not intentionally directed toward injuring the client. Such an intentional act would have nullified insurance coverage for the client's injuries. Once intentional acts were excluded, the insurance from the automobile company was required to cover the accident. The case settled for $475,000.00.

Patient Suffers Renal Failure after Fraternity Hazing

This client sustained serious injures when the client was hazed as part of the rush process for admittance into a fraternity. Client was repeatedly, and brutally, paddled by fraternity brothers. Due to the beating, the client was admitted to the hospital having been diagnosed as suffering from renal failure, hypertension and had experienced two seizures. Prior to the hazing, the client was completely asymptomatic for these conditions. Client contacted The Caring Lawyers, personal injuries attorneys Rosen Louik & Perry to evaluate his claim. This case was hotly contested as the fraternity argued it had no duty to monitor and prevent intentional acts of members. This case settled for $90,000.00 after Rosen Louik & Perry won legal issues on appeal.

Industrial Explosion Kills Three

Our client was one of three individuals who died as the result of an industrial explosion at his place of employment. Under Pennsylvania law, our client was prohibited from suing his employer. Rosen Louik & Perry, Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation Lawyers, worked with a team of Plaintiffs' lawyers to identify other companies responsible for the explosion. Numerous companies that had supplied equipment to detect and prevent explosions as well as companies that designed the system were ultimately sued. After extensive discovery and many depositions, the Plaintiff's team settled all cases for in excess of $22,000,000.00.

Handicapped Girl Raped After Being Left Alone by Custodian

Client, a mentally and physically handicapped ten-year-old girl, was in the care and custody of a former teacher for a weekend away from home. During that time, the client was left in the teacher's residence with a teenage neighbor boy who was painting the house for money. The teacher left the residence in order to retrieve a ladder for use in painting. While the teacher was gone, the teenage boy raped the client. Teenage boy's intentional act was not covered by insurance. Rosen Louick & Perry, Pittsburgh Negligence Lawyers, successfully proved, however, successfully proved a claim of negligence against the teacher. The case settled for policy limits of two homeowner's policies after depositions of the individuals involved.

Building Owners Found Responsible for Rooftop Ice Striking Victim in Face

The client was struck with a piece of ice that had fallen off of the roof of a building. As a result of the accident, the client suffered post-traumatic cervical myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. It was discovered that the building owners had knowledge of the problem of falling ice from the roof, as it had been reported multiple times earlier that day. However, no efforts were made to warn patrons of the dangerous condition. The case settled for $ 115,000.00. 

Building Owner Found Responsible After Fire Severely Burns Victim

The client suffered grievous injuries as the result of being trapped in an apartment building during a fire. The client was the only individual to survive the fire and did so because she heroically hung from a four-story window and awaited firefighters' rescue. Unfortunately, the left side of the client's body that was holding on to the inside of the window was completely burned off. Client has no toes and very little foot on the left side, has no fingers and no left hand and all of the skin on the left side of the body was burned to the bone. Through numerous operations the client has had skin graft transfer that has allowed the client to survive despite the severity of the injuries. Unfortunately, the client has been rendered permanently and totally disabled and the psychological effects of the disfigurement are as serious as the physical infirmities. The client retained the services of Rosen Louik & Perry's law firm of Pittsburgh, PA, The Caring Attorneys. Liability against the building owner was hotly contested as Defendant claimed they were not responsible for arson. (The arsonist was convicted and sent to prison). After years of discovery, this case settled for $1,050,000.00, an amount in excess of available insurance.

Man Fractures Hip after Being Knocked off Truck by Crane

During his employment as a tractor trailer operator, client was in the process of assisting with the unloading of two 4,000 pound jersey barriers from client's truck when the crane operator struck client and knocked him off of the back of his truck with the barrier. As a consequence of being struck by the jersey barrier and knocked off the trailer to the ground. The client retained the services of Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation lawyers Rosen, Louik & Perry of Pittsburgh. Plaintiff sustained a right hip fracture. This PA worker's comp case settled for $311,000.00.

Suit filed in connection with head injury at plant

News Herald A Titusville woman, appointed by the court as guardian for her incapacitated husband, has filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking damages from his employer and another firm. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh by attorney Neil R. Rosen on behalf of Lenise Thomeier, the permanent guardian of Stephen Thomeier. Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Rhone-Poulenc Specialty Chemicals Co. of New Jersey and Pennzoil Co. of Oil City. Rhone-Poulenc operates a plant in Cornplanter Township. Pennzoil owns and operates a refinery near Rhone-Poulenc. The lawsuit lists two counts, seeking damages in excess of $50,000 each. The lawsuit says Stephen Thomeier was injured and incapacitated following an accident Oct. 14, 1993, as he was standing in the area of a two-inch bleed line Rhone-Poulenc. Thomeier was employed as a maintenance supervisor with Rhone-Poulenc. The lawsuit states "the bleed line assembly suddenly and without warning began to rotate on its axis. When the bleed line assembly began rotating, it struck (the) plaintiff in the head with extreme force, causing plaintiff to suffer ... serious and severe injuries." The court action alleges the accident occurred after a diesel pump that supplied a fire water system to the Rhone-Poulenc plant failed, leaving the property without a supply of water to fight any fire. The lawsuit says Rhone-Poulenc maintained an agreement with Pennzoil. Under that agreement, Pennzoil was to supply a back-up source of water through a pipe that started on the Pennzoil property, connected to a pipe owned by Rhone-Poulenc and eventually connected to Rhone-Poulenc's fire water line.
Because the pipe was above ground and subject to freezing, the lawsuit says, the pipe was kept empty. On the day of the accident, the lawsuit says, Pennzoil employees activated the back-up system. The lawsuit claims the force of the water or air through the pipe caused the bleeder assembly to begin rotating out of control, striking the plaintiff. As a result of the accident, the lawsuit states Thomeier's health and earning capacity have been seriously and permanently impaired. Because of the seriousness and permanence of those injuries, the suit says Thomeier was adjudicated "a totally incapacitated person" on Jan. 27, 1994, by Crawford County Court. The lawsuit demands a jury trial. 

$1 Million Settlement Over Death of Elderly Woman in Fire

Equitable Gas, Duquesne Light to pay for 1998 gas explosion

By Marissa N. Scarvel
Western Pa. Legal Intelligencer
In personal injury actions, the elderly do not typically receive high monetary awards. But when Pittsburgh lawyer Neil Rosen of Rosen Louik & Perry was attempting to settle a case against Equitable Gas Co. and Duquesne Light Co., Rosen made it clear that he wouldn't accept anything less than seven figures for the death of Ann Gaydos Palmer, 72. "Death claims for older people tend to get lower amounts than they warrant," Rosen said. "Lawyers settle for smaller sums of money. In this case, the negligence on the part of both entities bordered on outrageous." The case was settled for $1 million. As part of the settlement, the defense lawyers -- P. Brennan Hart of the Pittsburgh office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin for Duquesne Light and C. Leon Sherman of the Pittsburgh firm C. Leon Sherman & Associates for Equitable Gas -- requested a confidentiality agreement that bars Rosen from speaking to the "general news media." Although Rosenagreed to the provision, he reserved the right to discuss the case within the legal community as long as he does not identify the defendants. However, because of the nature of the facts, it was obvious that the case involved the well-publicized gas explosion on Sept. 7, 1998, in which Palmer died in her two-story house in McKeesport. Gas Explosion
According to reports, the explosion ignited a fire and leveled the home, where Palmer had lived since the late 1960s. A report filed by the Fire Department said that after the explosion, Palmer was heard crying for help but that she could not be rescued. Investigators concluded that a damaged gas line near the home caused the explosion. Duquesne Light workers broke the line, which had been mismarked by Equitable Gas. The result was a slow leak. Rosen sued in 1999, claiming that negligence on the part of both companies caused the explosion, the fire and Palmer's death. The suit claimed that in addition to Equitable's responsibility for mismarking the line, Duquesne Light also was partially responsible because workers failed to notify Equitable that they had broken the line. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach a settlement agreement in the case, the defense lawyers suggested mediation. Rosen said he initially declined because he did not believe the defendants were willing to pay at least $1 million. Talks began in the $700,000 range, he said. Thomas Frampton of Pietragallo Bosick & Gordon in Pittsburgh served as the mediator. Frampton, a former judge on the Mercer County Court of Common Pleas, helped get the case settled by putting all the facts and issues on the table and facilitating the negotiations. When the defendants did reach the $1 million mark, Rosen said, the plaintiff decided to settle. "After we hung in there and got what we wanted, I thought it was in the best interest of all parties to settle,"Rosen said. "The decedent had two grown daughters who are successful in their own right. It was a gory case to have to try." As in any case, Rosen said, a jury trial could have gone either way. "The decedent was a lovely lady who worked as a waitress her whole life and lived a modest and religious life," Rosen said. "That fact that I had a fire report that said she was crying out for help showed obvious pain and suffering. The Fire Department was right next to the house, so we could only prove that the pain and suffering lasted 1 minute. She was older, with no income other than Social Security and no dependents. These cases are extraordinarily difficult to get big money." Even though Rosen questioned whether he could have secured as high a verdict had the case gone to trial, he said he was confident that he would have won a plaintiff's verdict of some value. "We had provable damages and third-party observers," Rosen said. "There is shock value when a woman goes into her basement, flips a light switch, and has the house blow up. Any juror would realize it could happen to them or their parents or their grandparents. This was a terrible tragedy and a preventable one." Because of the confidentiality agreement, Rosen would not say how much of the settlement each defendant must pay. The settlement was strictly for Palmer's death. Rosen said a property claim for damage done to the house was settled with an insurance company, which may now make a claim against the defendants. Criminal Charges
While Equitable has settled the civil suit against it, the utility still faces criminal charges arising out of the explosion. The state Department of Labor and Industry filed a criminal complaint against Equitable last year, alleging improper marking of the area. According to the complaint, Equitable failed to mark the position of a natural gas service line within 18 inches, as required by law. Equitable marked the line at least 56 inches from its actual location, the complaint says. If convicted, the utility would be liable for at least $20,000 in fines and the cost of prosecution.
Date Received: July 11, 2001

Coal company settles Explosion injury for $1.5 million.

Cataney v. Robinson Coal Co.
$1.5 million settlement
Date of Verdict or Settlement:
Jan. 18, 1999.
Court and Case Number:
C.P. Allegheny No. GD93-18005.
Judge:
N/A
Type of Action:
Negligence.
Injuries:
Tibia Fracture.
Plaintiff(s)' Attorney(s):
Jon R. Perry and Neil R. Rosen,
Pittsburgh.
Defense Attorney(s):
Dennis Mulvihill, Bruce E. Rende, P.
Brennan Hart and John F. Doherty,
Pittsburgh.
Plaintiff(s)' Expert(s):
Spencer L. Butterfield, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, Pittsburgh; Bruce Sharpnack, M.D., family practice, Hickory; Margaret Reidy, M.D., rehabilitative medicine, Pittsburgh; Sharon Leak, PhD., vocational psychologist, Pittsburgh; Frederick G. Clerici, physical therapist, Moon Township; James R. Kenkel, Ph.D., economist, Pittsburgh.
Defense Expert(s):
Paul Lieber, M.D., physiatrist, Pittsburgh; Lawson Bernstein, M.D., psychiatrist, Pittsburgh; Sharon L. Heilein, vocational specialist, Pittsburgh.
Comments:
James Cataney was a certified U.S. Air jet engine and powerplant mechanic when he was injured as a result of blasting activities conducted by Robinson Coal Co. and Senex Explosives Inc. The blasting was being done near Cataney's home as part of strip mining operations. Cataney, who suffered a grade 3B open tibia fracture, pursued claims under absolute strict liability and negligence theories. He sought damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement and a lost wage claim for his permanent and total disability. Robinson argued Cataney was able to work with very little, if any, wage loss.
After the injury trial started, one juror admitted being a lifelong friend of the principal of Robinson but the court declined to replace the juror with an alternate. A directed verdict on the issue of liability was directed in favor of Cataney.
At the close of evidence, Cataney again requested an alternate juror but the court again refused. The jury returned a verdict in his favor in the amount of $350,000. Cataney appealed the verdict in part on the trial court's refusal to strike the biased juror. The state Superior Court reversed and remanded. The state Supreme Court denied Robinson's request to grant allocatur. The case was settled two days before the retrial for $1.5 million. 

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