Nicholas Malfitano Jun. 28, 2016, 9:52am

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia judge has ruled a motor vehicle accident case would be dismissed and non-prossed for failure to prosecute, resulting in a verdict for the defense.

On June 15, Judge John M. Younge ordered a rule issued upon plaintiff Marybeth Haslam-Houck and Christopher Houck, and their counsel Blake L. Berenbaum, to explain why the plaintiffs’ case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute and a failure to appear at a previous mandatory pre-trial conference.

All parties were called to appear unless the case was settled or withdrawn, in which case counsel were to notify the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in writing.

However, on Monday, Younge entered a Judgment of Non Pros issued in the case, or a verdict issued in favor of the defendant when the plaintiff has not continued their action.

On April 4, 2013, Haslam-Houck allegedly sustained injuries when the vehicle she was operating stopped due to traffic between 13th Street and Broad Street on the Vine Street Expressway in Philadelphia, when it was rear-ended by defendant Sean McCarthy’s vehicle (in turn, owned by fellow defendant Christopher Henderson). The suit says speeding and negligent driving were among the causes of the crash.

Haslam-Houck allegedly suffered injuries to her head, neck, arms, back and legs in the accident and may have incurred losses in excess of the maximum recoverable amount under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (PMVFRL).

The plaintiffs are each seeking damages jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000 in this case. This includes a claim from Christopher Houck for loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs are represented by Berenbaum of Richman Berenbaum Associates, in Trevose.

The defendants are represented by Janet Law of the Law Offices of Francis D. Mackin, in Marlton, N.J.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150400250

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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