PHILADELPHIA – A petition for distribution of wrongful death and survival benefits in the mid-six figures and a related motion as to the allocation ratio for its distribution is to be decided this week.

John A. Lord filed a motion for application and distribution of wrongful death and survival benefits on Oct. 14, for plaintiffs Elizabeth Martinez and Camila Martinez, the widow and daughter of decedent Rafael Martinez. The amount, totaling exactly $470,000, was intended to cover wrongful death and survival claims, counsel fees, medical/funeral expenses and wage losses suffered by the plaintiffs.

Furthermore, Lord filed a miscellaneous motion on Nov. 3, adding a note there were two liens associated with the case: one for Medicare totaling $233,286.18 and one for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (PDOR) totaling $37,083.25.

Also, Lord requested an allocation division for the $470,000 of 90 percent for wrongful death benefits and 10 percent for survival benefits. However, the PDOR rejected this concept and instead proposed a ratio of 70 percent for wrongful death benefits and 30 percent for survival benefits.

Lord requested a hearing to finally determine the allocation division associated with the prospective settlement amount.

On April 18, 2013, the suit states Rafael Martinez was lawfully on the premises of a residence on the 1100 block of Passmore Street in Philadelphia, when he fell due to defects in the sidewalk. When Martinez fell, he struck his head on the concrete walkway and suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury, the suit says.

The accident was witnessed by Rafael and Elizabeth’s minor daughter Camila, then eight years old, who the plaintiffs allege suffered severe psychological trauma as a result, the suit says.

The plaintiffs then filed suit in November 2013 against Ying Ping Huang of New York, Adam Rucci Jr., Lawn-Crest Realty and Marsh B. Spink, the latter three defendants all of Philadelphia, in connection with Rafael’s accident and death.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lord of Silvers Langsam & Weitzman, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Eamon Merrigan, John R. Brown, Lynda M. Powell, Laurianne Falcone and Lati W. Spence, also all in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 131102725

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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