After trial assignment, motor vehicle accident case settled for $15K in Philadelphia court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jul 14, 2016

PHILADELPHIA – After recent assignment for trial, a motor vehicle accident case has been settled in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas at a cost of $15,000.

Virginia King filed a motion to enforce settlement on Dec. 29 on behalf of defendant David Verner, for plaintiff Duane Owens to sign a release within 10 days of the order being approved. Also, if the order were to be approved, Owens would forward a check to Chartwell Law Offices in the amount of $1,057.68. This amount would account for $1,000 in attorney’s fees and $57.68 in filing fees, for the filing of the motion to enforce settlement.

On March 24, Judge Lisa M. Rau approved the settlement enforcement motion and decreed Owens’ counsel will forward a check in the amount of $500 payable to the Chartwell Law Offices for Verner’s counsel within 10 days of the date of the order as a sanction, or they may be subject to further sanctions by the court. According to the judicial order, the sanction must be paid by plaintiff’s counsel and not be counted as a cost of Owens’ case or deducted from his award.

Harry B. Gosnear also filed a motion in limine on Aug. 25 to preclude introduction of past, present and future medical bills by Owens, for his $9,127.69 in medical expenses.

Gosnear argued because the vehicle involved in the accident and related insurance policy to that vehicle did not belong to Owens, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (PMVFRL) did not apply in relation to these costs. Gosnear asserted these costs could have been covered by Owens’ private health insurance policy or by Verner’s automobile insurance policy.

Gosnear said there was no evidence of the remainder of Owens’ bills being submitted to his health insurance organization, or that he had been denied benefits coverage.

Further, King filed a motion again on behalf of Verner on April 4, this time to allow amendment of her answer for Verner to plead the release.

The motion was approved by Rau and, per judicial order, the case was rescheduled for hearing in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

Subsequent to assignment for trial, however, Judge Ellen Ceisler announced on July 5 the case had been settled between the parties for a sum of $15,000.

On Aug. 24, 2013, Owens was a passenger in a vehicle owned and operated by Verner at 19th & Reed streets in Philadelphia, where, at the same place and time, a vehicle owned by U-Haul Titling and operated by Dylan Ranz of Schnecksville was also being driven.

Allegedly, Ranz drove his vehicle negligently, failed to operate the vehicle under proper control and did not abide by city and state motor vehicle codes, and caused a collision in the process.

Owens allegedly suffered cervical disc herniation and protrusion, lumbar disc bulge, cervical strains and sprains, lumbar strains and sprains, thoracic strains and sprains, and bilateral shoulder strains and sprains in the accident.

Owens incurred medical expenses in excess of the recoverable amount under the PMVFRL. The plaintiff was seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs and other relief from all defendants in this case.

The plaintiff was represented by Marc F. Greenfield of Spear Greenfield & Richman in Philadelphia.

The defendants were represented by King of the Chartwell Law Offices and Gosnear of Bennett Bricklin & Saltzburg, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 141003815

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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