Senior Litigation Partner Obtains Rare Dispositive Motion Victory in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Senior litigation Partner, Steven G. Leventhal, obtained a rare dispositive motion victory in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on September 29, 2015 when he received an Order granting his joint motion for Summary Judgment that globally dismissed the lawsuit two weeks prior to having to attend the county's mandatory settlement conference.
The case (MAYER v. THE PHILADELPHIA NEWS (090301015) CCP PHILA: March Term 2009 #1015), originating as a July 9, 2007 trip and fall matter, was complicated by the automatic federal stay imposed by the bankruptcy filing of a co-defendant. By the time the matter came out of bankruptcy, the claimant had passed away. As her testimony was never preserved prior to her death, aggressive motion practice thwarted the stone-walling efforts encountered by her estate's administrator. Eventually, a preclusion order was obtained as the ultimate non-compliance trial sanction that the court can impose upon obstreperous attempts to thwart fair discovery exchanges.
Given the estate's inability to present key trial testimony to prove the essential elements of their cause of action against the defendants, the court was obliged to grant the joint defense motion and to toss the suit out globally against everyone.