Nicholas Malfitano Jul. 21, 2015, 12:41pm


PHILADELPHIA – A state court judge directed plaintiff counsel in a motor vehicle accident case to show why he had not filed a Guardian Ad Litem and Orphans Court Approval motion necessary for the distribution of a minor-age accident victim’s settlement.

On June 24, Judge Lisa M. Rau ordered a hearing at which attorney Marc F. Greenfield was to show cause to the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas as to why he had not filed motions for the aforementioned approvals, as directed in a pre-trial conference on April 10 and a prior court order on May 27. 

Minor plaintiff Siniyah Newsuan’s natural guardian, Denise Cartagena, was also ordered to attend the hearing, in addition to counsel for all parties concerned.

The accident case was settled amicably on May 19, though court records indicate terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Further, any proceeds from the settlement can’t be distributed without Orphans Court Approval, since Newsuan is a minor child.

That hearing was scheduled for Court chambers in Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday.

Denise Cartagena, acting on behalf of her daughter Newsuan, filed the suit in April of last year, against Philadelphia residents Jessica Estevez, Luis Marrero Morales and her sister, Jeanette Cartagena, in connection with an automobile accident from nearly three years ago.

On Aug 7, 2012, Newsuan was a passenger in a vehicle negligently operated by Jeanette Cartagena near the intersection of Jasper Street and Monmouth Street in Philadelphia. At the same time, Estevez was driving her vehicle, owned by Morales, at the same location, also allegedly in an erratic and dangerous manner.

This careless and negligent driving from both parties caused a collision to occur, where Newsuan suffered a number of severe and permanent injuries.

Among them were a traumatic brain injury, diffuse axonal injury, subdural hematoma, scalp hematoma, right phenoidal and left maxillary fractures and emotional injuries.

Newsuan’s family members also incurred sizable medical bills to treat the injuries, in an amount exceeding the permitted recoverable amount under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.

The plaintiffs are seeking judgment in excess of $50,000, plus court costs and other relief the Court may deem appropriate individually from all defendants. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Greenfield of Spear Greenfield & Richman, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Kevin R. McNulty of Gerolamo McNulty Divis & Lewbart in Philadelphia, and Heather A. Cicalese in Trevose.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140400760

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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