Motor vehicle accident lawsuit withdrawn, rendering recent hearing moot

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 7, 2016

PHILADELPHIA – An injury lawsuit related to a 2012 motor vehicle accident has been withdrawn entirely, canceling a hearing scheduled in the matter for this past Monday and making the case moot.

Brett W. Batoff first filed a motion to withdraw appearance on May 23. Dating back to a period of time between Dec. 10 and Dec. 18, Batoff allegedly learned information which caused him to cancel an independent orthopedic exam for plaintiff Jamie McKnight, which had been scheduled for Dec. 22.

On Dec. 18, William R. Salmon Jr. agreed to represent McKnight, and had the plaintiff write a letter to Batoff to terminate that attorney-client relationship. But since Salmon was leaving on a scheduled vacation was leaving on vacation from March 3 to March 12, Batoff (despite no longer being official counsel) represented McKnight regardless at a March 10 settlement conference.

A pre-trial conference had been set for May 23, but Salmon had not yet officially entered an appearance for McKnight at that time – so Batoff was not then able to properly withdraw is. However, Salmon did enter this appearance on June 23.

As a result, Batoff then filed another motion to withdraw his appearance on June 24, but rescinded that motion through a praecipe to withdraw that motion four days later, on June 28.

This matter, which had been set for an arbitration hearing on Sept. 19, is now null and void – as announced by Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Linda Carpenter on Monday.

On Jan. 21, 2012, McKnight was driving near the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and 34th Street – where at the same time, defendants Brandy Deas, Patricia Kline, Dauphine Sowell, Shareef Tillman and David Drayton were also operating their own vehicles. Due to their collective negligent driving, McKnight averred a major accident occurred.

McKnight allegedly suffered knee, ankle and spin injuries in the collision.

McKnight’s lawsuit had contained charges of negligence against all driving defendants, plus negligent entrustment charges versus other defendants David Kline, Jamil White and Lisa McLaughlin for failure to train the drivers of their respective vehicles, plus a count of property damage for the damages suffered to McKnight’s vehicle.

The plaintiff was seeking, jointly and severally, damages not in excess of $50,000, plus interest, delay damages, attorney’s fees, costs of suit and other relief, in this case.

The plaintiff was represented by Batoff in Philadelphia, and Salmon Jr. of Salmon Law Offices, in Bristol.

The defendants were represented by Robert R. Hopkins of Ruthrauff & Associates, Maurice G. Hamel of the Law Office of Sue Ann Eckel, John F. Lewis and Deborah M. Bailey, all in Philadelphia, plus Jamie L. Augustinsky and Constantine Z. Economides of Economides & Economides, in Wayne.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150102732

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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