Nicholas Malfitano Sep. 17, 2015, 2:31pm


PHILADELPHIA – An attorney for a motor vehicle accident plaintiff wants final delivery of an agreed-upon settlement to his client, plus payment of interest and counsel fees.

Leo M. Flynn filed a motion for failure to deliver settlement funds with the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on June 30, alleging a prior settlement had been reached in the case of the car crash which injured his client, Philadelphia resident Jose Morales.

According to the terms of the $10,000 settlement reached May 4, it was determined defendant Michael J, Mocharnuk of Philadelphia would pay 60 percent of that cost and the other 40 percent would be covered by separate co-defendant Victor M. Rodriguez, also of Philadelphia.

Flynn asserted his client never received a copy of the signed settlement release, arguing the defendant’s counsel, Rebecca E. Jellen, left the negotiation room with the release without making copies first.

As the settlement funds were due May 24 and did not arrive by that date, Flynn claimed he attempted to follow up with Jellen, but received no response.

Flynn argued besides the $10,000 settlement amount, the defendants should pay an interest rate of 4.25 percent from Day 21 to the delivery date of the settlement funds, plus an additional $750.00 in counsel fees.

A hearing in this matter was set for Thursday at Philadelphia City Hall, in Court chambers.

According to Morales’ 2013 lawsuit, on May 22, 2012, he was a passenger in a vehicle traveling in Philadelphia, eastbound on Erie Avenue approaching 8th Avenue.

Further, Mocharnuk was driving in the same direction at the same time on behalf of his employer MAF Systems, when his allegedly negligent driving caused a collision, hitting the side of the vehicle Morales was riding in, he says. This vehicle was owned by co-defendant Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s vehicle was insured by Infinity Indemnity Insurance Company of Birmingham, Ala., but it allegedly refused to pay out the first-party benefits.

Initially, Morales filed suit against Infinity for breach of contract, acting in bad faith and violating the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL). However, Infinity was dismissed as a defendant from this litigation in March 2014.

Though, the remainder of the charges levied in the suit remain. These includes counts of negligence against Mocharnuk and MAF Systems, along with a count of negligent entrustment against MAF Systems and a count of negligence against Rodriguez. 

Morales suffered injuries to his entire back and spine as a result of the accident.

The plaintiff is seeking a sum not in excess of $50,000, including compensatory, consequential and incidental damages, plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

The plaintiff is represented by Leo M. Flynn of Martins Mill Legal Center, in Cheltenham.

The defendants are represented by John J. McGrath of Palmer & Barr, Moira C. Duggan and Louis E. Bricklin of Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg, all in Philadelphia, and Rebecca E. Jellen, of Heather A. Cicalese & Associates in Plymouth Meeting.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 130703789

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

More News