GGM is pleased to announce the addition of a new litigation associate, Audrey Melli-Mirza. At GGM she will focus her practice on the defense of products liability, medical malpractice and casualty liability suites. Before joining GGM, Audrey practiced in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, focusing on the representation of industry leadership and other management in various liability litigation, insurance defense and related matters in state and federal courts. Audrey also has experience in general business litigation, products liability, breach of contract, potential fraud and other misrepresentations.
Audrey graduated from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. While in law school, she served as Vice President of the Business Law Society; the President of the South Asian Student Law Association; the Vice President of the Affinity Group Coalition and a volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Prior to Law School, Audrey received her BA in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Temple University.
On August 11th, Partner Jacob C. Lehman moderated the opening session at ALFA’s Professional Liability Seminar held in Chicago, Illinois. Entitled, Sword and Shield: Defeating and Defending Privilege in Professional Liability Claims, the session discussed the ways in which attorney-client and other privileges are implicated in professional liability matters and best practices for protecting or defeating privilege claims in furtherance of client objectives.
For more information or materials please contact Mr. Lehman (email@example.com).
GGM is proud to announce that Yana N. Shapiro has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America, and Andre J. Webb has been named to The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch.
The Best Lawyers in America recognizes the top four percent of practicing attorneys in the nation and is based on confidential client and peer evaluations, as well as extensive editorial research. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. For more information, please visit https://www.bestlawyers.com.
Jacqueline E. Schneiders and M. Dinora Smith defended an Order granting summary judgment for a surgeon in a medical malpractice action filed in the NJ Superior Court in Camden County, New Jersey. Plaintiff moved to reconsider the Order, arguing the trial court erred in holding that Plaintiff failed to establish any deviation in the standard of care. Specifically, Plaintiff argued that her expert’s testimony that the standard of care was breached in not operating when CT findings required emergency surgery created a question of material fact. Also, Plaintiff argued that the trial court improperly applied a heightened burden of proof than required by New Jersey law.
Schneiders and Smith argued that the trial court properly granted summary judgment after spending 40 minutes reviewing Plaintiff’s expert reports during oral argument. Additionally, the trial court did not apply a new or heightened standard; it merely exercised appropriate judicial discretion in limiting Plaintiff’s experts to the opinions in their reports. Here, Plaintiff’s experts asserted an opinion against all physicians on the surgical team, even though the physicians treated the decedent on different days and at different stages of her condition. Plaintiff’s experts not only failed to specify how the defendant surgeon deviated from the standard of care, but also the care provided by the moving defendant surgeon aligned with the standard of care defined by Plaintiff’s experts. The trial court denied reconsideration of the Order granting summary judgment.
Thereafter, Plaintiff moved for leave to appeal the Order denying reconsideration in the NJ Superior Court – Appellate Division. Plaintiff argued leave to appeal should be granted as the trial court improperly usurped the role of the jury and placed a burden on plaintiff that does not exist in dismissing her claims against the defendant surgeon. Plaintiff further argued that interlocutory appeal was required to prevent a grave injustice as this case involved multiple defendants in a complex medical malpractice case with a pending trial date. Not addressing the purported error now could require the case having to be tried twice, which was unfair to the parties and a waste of judicial time and resources.
Schneiders and Smith argued that the motion should be denied as premature. Permitting Plaintiff to appeal was directly against the public interest and policy in New Jersey. “[A]ppeals prior to and during trial waste the time and resources of the parties. A system allowing frequent appeals before or during trial in many cases would result in the separate adjudication of each issue by the trial court and the Appellate Division.” Moon v. Warren Haven Nursing Home, 182 N.J. 507, 513, 867 A.2d 1174 (2005). Also, they argued the motion should be denied, because the trial court properly determined that Plaintiff failed to provide sufficient expert opinions to establish a prima facie case. The NJ Superior Court – Appellate Division agreed and denied Plaintiff leave to pursue an interlocutory appeal.
GGM is pleased to announce that Dean F. Murtagh, Gary R. Gremminger, John P. Shusted, and Jeffrey D. Laudenbach have been named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, and Jacob C. Lehman, Andre J. Webb, and M. Dinora Smith have been named Rising Stars for 2023.
On May 15th, 2023, partners Jake Lehman and Jack Shusted obtained a defense verdict for their client, a radiologist, after a week of trial in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The case centered on allegations that the radiologist was required to call in the results of a CT study and that the failure to do so resulted in a delay of treatment and damages to the Plaintiff. Mr. Lehman and Mr. Shusted were able to show that no phone call was required, that the ordering physician already had the relevant information, and that the timing of Plaintiffs treatment was correct and there was no damage due to delay.
Partner, Andre Webb, was recently featured on the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel FedSpeaks Podcast, “How FDCC Members Get it Done.” The podcast features interviews with FDCC in-house counsel and defense counsel members discussing how they handle their day-to-day work lives, including how they prioritize and organize heading into the day, tackle incoming bombs during the day, and balance against life’s other challenges. Listen to Andre offer his experience keeping all the balls in the air and provide practical tips on getting things done while maintaining control of life.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the Pennsylvania House passed HB 930 by a vote of 112-88 to address the current disfigurement benefits available to injured workers under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. At first glance, HB 930 simply expands the permanent disfigurement benefits from 275 weeks to 400 weeks and allows Claimants to collect both wage loss benefits and disfigurement benefits simultaneously. However, HB 930 takes leaps, not steps, forward expanding disfigurement benefits from the traditional head, neck, face region to the entire body without limitation. This substantial change would create a new and distinct claim for disfigurement benefits arising from every cut, scrap, scar, surgical site related to the work injuries anywhere on the body. The impact on case value and exposure will be significant due to the broad language. The bill now moves on to the Senate.
Matthew McColgan attended the 2023 ALFA Transportation Practice Group Seminar focusing on theme of “Know Better, Do Better, Be Better”, and moderated a huddle up group of lawyers and industry leaders to strategize collaboration amongst the transportation industry.