Jacqueline E. Schneiders and M. Dinora Smith Defend Order Granting Summary Judgment for Surgeon

May 24, 2023

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 Announces 2023 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 19, 2023

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.

Defense Verdict for Radiologist

May 17, 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.


Andre J. Webb Featured on FDCC FedSpeaks Podcast

May 16, 2023

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.


Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Update: Pennsylvania House Passes HB 930

May 7, 2023

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

May 5, 2023

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.

Matthew McColgan Attends the 2023 Young Lawyers’ Seminar

May 5, 2023

Matthew McColgan attended the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel’s 2023 Young Lawyers’ Seminar and sat on a panel “Pathway to Partnership” discuss developing a plan for career advancement.

Defense Verdict for Urologic Surgeon and Urology Practice

May 4, 2023

On April 27th Partners Jack Shusted and Jake Lehman obtained a defense verdict for their client, a Pottstown area Urologist, after a week of trial in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The trial involved allegations that the surgeon improperly performed female organ prolapse surgery on the Plaintiff leading to lifelong pain and discomfort. Mr. Shusted and Mr. Lehman were able to show that the surgeon met the standard of care in all respects and that any complications the Plaintiff experienced were not the result of negligence.

GGM is pleased to announce its newest Litigation Associate Nicholas C. Kapsimalis

April 19, 2023

GGM is pleased to announce the addition of a new litigation associate, Nicholas C. Kapsimalis.  At GGM Nicholas will focus his practice on the defense of insured and self-insured entities in a variety of litigation matters, including products liability, premises liability and motor vehicle accidents.  Before joining GGM, Nicholas was an associate at a civil litigation firm where he represented both individuals and corporate entities in personal injury claims, premise liability claims and insurance coverage disputes. Before shifting his focus into defense work, Nicholas zealously represented Plaintiffs in personal injury matters in several counties in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a Philadelphia based law firm.

Nicholas earned his Juris Doctorate from Widener University Delaware Law School in 2018. While earning his Juris Doctorate, Nicholas worked in a boutique law firm in Philadelphia, which specialized in transaction matters for small businesses.

Partner Jacob C. Lehman presented at ALFA’s International Client Seminar in La Quinta, California

March 14, 2023

Last week, partner Jacob C. Lehman chaired the panel “Mobile Applications, Social Media and the Internet of Things: What’s Your Appetite For Risk” at ALFA International’s 2023 International Client Seminar in La Quinta, California. The theme of this year’s ICS was Progress is Coming, So Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way. Read more about the presentation below.

Mobile Applications, Social Media and the Internet of Things: What’s Your Appetite For Risk”

For better or worse, in modern society more and more of social and business interaction is conducted through our cell phones. While we may cringe when looking at data about how many times we pick up and look at our phones each day, or how much time we spend on social media, as business people and legal professionals it is important to recognize how this digital interface drives business and the legal challenges it presents.

Mobile applications are and seem destined to remain one of the central ways business is conducted. Companies developing an app for their business would be wise to consider the legal issues involved at every step of the app development process.