Lack of client communication spurs plaintiff counsel to withdraw from SEPTA accident case

By Nicholas Malfitano | Aug 23, 2016

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)  

PHILADELPHIA – A member of plaintiff counsel identified a lack of communication between him and his client as the reason he is withdrawing from a motor vehicle accident lawsuit against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Brad S. Tabakin of Tabakin Wolfe, in Plymouth Meeting, filed a motion to withdraw appearance on May 25, explaining an independent medical exam for plaintiff Bethany Best was scheduled for May 13, but prior to that, the attorney-client relationship between Tabakin and Best became “broken”.

Tabakin stated he made numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact Best about the subject litigation, but due to the lack of communication, he could no longer act as her counsel. Though considerable “time, effort and costs” were expended, Tabakin added he is seeking no fee reimbursement from Best.

Tabakin requested his withdrawal motion be granted and the matter be given enough time for the plaintiff’s new counsel to appear, or for Best to otherwise proceed pro se.

After a continuance, the motion was scheduled to be ruled on this past Wednesday in Court chambers at Philadelphia City Hall, but records indicate the hearing was cancelled without an alternate date being scheduled.

On Sept. 24, 2013 at 8:15 a.m., Best was a passenger seated facing the operator of SEPTA’s Trolley No. 15, traveling on Girard Avenue at or near its intersection with 5th Street. At that time, the operator allegedly disregarded a red traffic light and stopped abruptly, causing Best to be jolted out of her seat and become lodged between two other seats.

Best said the trolley operator failed to use due care in driving the trolley, keep it under adequate control, disregarded a red traffic light, violated the Assured Clear Distance rule and committed negligence at law.

Best allegedly suffered injuries to her head, neck, back, knees, elbows, shoulders, contusions and abrasions, and nervous system shock. Best added she has incurred medical bills of $25,527 and counting.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

The defendant is represented by Sandra J. Ross-Hyman of SEPTA’s Law Department, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150901153

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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