Plaintiffs in accident suit seek new trial limited to cause and damages

By Nicholas Malfitano | Aug 14, 2015

The plaintiffs in a motor vehicle accident case that concluded in April are seeking a new trial, facing opposition from the defendants who were victorious in that action

Warren I. Siegel  

PHILADELPHIA – The plaintiffs in a motor vehicle accident case that concluded in April are seeking a new trial, facing opposition from the defendants who were victorious in that action.

Subsequent to the conclusion of the six-day trial on April 29, plaintiff counsel Warren I. Siegel filed a post-trial motion on behalf of his clients, Louis and Sherry Mayfield Butts of Blue Bell, arguing a new trial limited only to “factual causes and damages” would be more in the interest of justice.

Siegel argued attorney Warren D. Holland, defense counsel for Lauryn M. Gray and Paul Gray of Middletown, Del., said during his closing statement at the trial that the defense “did not have enough resources to hire a doctor to examine the plaintiff."

Siegel asserted when a motion was made for curative instruction to the jury on this point, it was denied by Judge Esther R. Sylvester before the jury had finished deliberating.

In Siegel’s motion, he wrote that to allow the jury to believe State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, the Grays’ car insurance provider, did not have the resources to hire a doctor to examine Louis Butts when it was a multimillion-dollar company was “perpetrating fraud.”

In addition to the desire for a new trial, Siegel also requested his clients would receive copies of all notes, testimony and transcripts taken during all legal proceedings involved with this case.

Holland filed a response on May 12, vigorously opposing the request for a new trial and claimed the request for a curative instruction to the jury from plaintiff counsel did not take place until the day following the trial’s conclusion.

A hearing in the matter was scheduled for Philadelphia City Hall’s Court chambers on Wednesday.

The Butts’ lawsuit, filed in February 2014 with respect to a prior motor vehicle accident, centered on a vehicle owned and operated by Louis Butts. That same vehicle was involved in a crash with a vehicle owned by Paul Gray and operated by Lauryn Gray.

Due to a park closure for a bike race and subsequent heavy traffic, Butts’ vehicle was stopped at the intersection of 33rd & Oxford Streets, when he was allegedly rear-ended by the Grays’ vehicle due to Lauryn Gray’s supposedly negligent driving.

Butts allegedly suffered internal and external full-body injuries in the accident, in addition to orthopedic and neurological injuries. Butts claimed to have been left with serious bodily impairment as defined by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law and a severely-damaged vehicle.

The plaintiffs are each seeking an amount in excess of $50,000, plus interest and court costs. Sherry Mayfield Butts sues for medical costs and loss of her husband’s consortium.

The plaintiffs are represented by Siegel of Bernhardt & Rothermel, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Holland, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 140201233

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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