Nicholas Malfitano Aug. 11, 2015, 10:14am


PHILADELPHIA – A motion to enforce a settlement has been filed by plaintiff counsel in a motor vehicle accident case in which said attorneys claim an outstanding balance of several thousand dollars has yet to be delivered.

Richard L. Stutman filed the settlement enforcement motion on July 8. An arbitration judgment in the amount of $2,482 had previously been determined in favor of plaintiff Ivan D. Butts of Upper Darby and against two defendants in his litigation, Pinelands Insurance Company Risk Retention Group and NTA Associates, both of Voorhees, N.J.

The case was later settled in early March for $3,500, but plaintiff counsel asserts they never received those funds after the 60-day payment window expired on May 2. In addition to receiving the settlement funds of $3,500, plaintiff counsel further asked for a retroactive daily interest rate of 4.25 percent per day to be appended to the settlement from May 2 to the date of delivery, along with an additional $557.68 in attorney’s fees.

Defense counsel Richard M. Meltzer opposed the petition by counter-filing with a motion to oppose the settlement enforcement. A hearing on this matter was held Thursday in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall.

Butts’ December 2013 lawsuit was filed in connection with a May 24, 2012 car crash in Philadelphia. Defendant Robert Rule of Clifton Heights was driving a taxi cab, with Butts as a passenger, on Island Avenue. At the intersection of Island and Woodland Avenues, Rule allegedly failed to yield and obey a red light, striking an unidentified vehicle traveling east on Woodland Avenue.

Butts alleged Rule’s improper and negligent driving and negligent entrustment on the part of Germantown Cab Company of Philadelphia caused the accident. Pinelands Insurance Company and NTA Associates insured the cab with personal injury protection benefits.

The plaintiff made claims against Rule, Germantown Cab Company and Sawink, Inc. of Media for bodily injury, as he sustained severe and permanent internal and external injuries to his entire body, and incurred costs in excess of the permitted recoverable amount allowed by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.

Butts also made claims against Pinelands Insurance Company and NTA Associates for the aforementioned personal injury protection benefits in the amount of $5,000, a claim the defendants vigorously oppose.

The plaintiff had been seeking judgment against the defendants individually, jointly and severally not in excess of $50,000, plus interest, court costs, attorney’s fees and other damages.

The plaintiff is represented by George S. Marion and Stutman, of Liss & Marion, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Meltzer in Bala Cynwyd and Susan P. Halpern in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 131200667

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

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