News

The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Delaware Superior Court granting summary judgment to an uninsured motorist carrier. Matt O’Byrne and Brian DeMott argued that based on the plain language of Delaware’s former uninsured motorist statute, the insurance policies of all tortfeasors must be aggregated and compared with the plaintiff’s UIM (or in the event of the plaintiff being insured under multiple UIM policies, a single policy of the plaintiff’s choosing). Moffitt-Ali v. State Farm. (November 2016)

In Smith v. Mahoney, Del. Supr. 2016 WL 6519000, Nov. 3, 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the application of Stayton v. Delaware Health Corp. to Medicaid payments made for post-PIP medical expenses claimed by a plaintiff in a personal injury suit. Thomas Leff made the winning argument to the Court.

In Deal v. Dimondo and USAA, Del. Super., 2016 WL 3662195, July 1, 2016, the Delaware Superior Court upheld the application of the former UIM Statute to plaintiff’s auto policy. Thomas Leff presented the successful argument to the court.

The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Delaware Superior Court, which granted the defendant’s summary judgment as to plaintiff’s breach of contract and property damage claims. Colin Shalk and Brian DeMott successfully demonstrated that Delaware’s Statute of Repose, which sets a specific time frame to file suit regardless of when a plaintiff becomes aware of its injury, applied to the plaintiff’s claim. 326 Associates, L.P., v. Progressive Services, Inc., (November 2016)

The firm would like to wish the Girard College High School Mock Trial Team and their coaches, including Catherine M. Cramer, luck and success, as they begin their training for the upcoming Mock Trial Season.

Girard College is: “[a] recognized leader in the education of children in need. Girard College has an unmatched 164-year history of providing a quality educational experience for economically disadvantaged children on its 43-acre campus in the heart of Philadelphia.” www.girardcollege.edu.
We are confident that these young and bright students will be successful this year. (October 2016)

After a learned oral argument, the Delaware Supreme Court agreed with the argument made by Thomas P. Leff and ruled that their prior decision of Stayon . . . applies to Medicaid, thereby limiting the collateral source rule to only amounts paid by Medicaid and not their reductions or write-offs.

Michael J. Hendee represented the Forty Acres Community Association before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. After a hearing that lasted late into the night the Board ruled in favor of the Community Association to save four historic homes. (September 2016) (links: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2016/09/29/zoning-board-votes-save-historic-homes/91256866/; http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2016/09/22/parking-lot-may-replace-historic-wilmington-homes/90713936/)

Kenneth M. Doss successfully defended a personal injury protection case in which the jury found that a $72,000 surgery was not related to the motor vehicle accident. (May 2016)

Michael J. Hendee obtained a defense verdict in Rivera v. Short, a disputed red light case. The jury found no liability whatsoever on the part of his client, returning its verdict in less than hour. (March 2016)

The Firm is excited to announce that it has moved to a new location at 1007 N. Orange Street, The Nemours Building, Suite 1100, Wilmington, Delaware. The Firm is excited about the opportunity to continue to grow in its new location. (March/February 2016)

Colin M. Shalk effectively argued before the Delaware Supreme Court, to dismiss a class action finding that the PIP statute does not absolutely require that all bills be paid or denied within 30 days and that the statute contains its own penalty where PIP benefits are paid untimely. Clark v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 131 A.3d 806 (Del. 2016) (January 2016)

Colin M. Shalk obtained a defense verdict for his client, a general contractor, after an eight day jury trial. The Plaintiff was claiming over a million dollars in medical expenses and lost wages after a piece of plywood fell on him. The jury found that Mr. Shalk’s client was not responsible for the incident or plaintiff’s injuries. Smith v. Dewson Construction. (January 2016).

The firm would like to congratulate Brian V. DeMott on being selected to participate in the Leadership Delaware program, Class of 2016. A recognition that Mr. DeMott is an up-incoming leader in the State of Delaware.

The firm is excited to announce that Matthew O’Byrne has been elected managing director for the firm.

2015

Colin M. Shalk and Catherine M. Cramer obtained a favorable decision from the Delaware Supreme Court in a case involving UM/UIM reformation claims and PIP claims. The Supreme Court held that an insurer is not required to offer $300,000 uninsured/underinsured coverage to match an insured’s liability limits, as the statute only requires the insurer to offer $100,000/$300,000. The Supreme Court further held that all PIP bills must be submitted within two years, and that the 90 day extension for submitting medical bills is only applicable if the plaintiff can establish impracticality. Tracey v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2014 WL 3882809, aff’d, 129 A.3d 881 (Del. 2015). (December 2015)

Catherine M. Cramer obtained a defense verdict in Heasley v. State Farm, an uninsured motorist case involving a bicyclist and an unidentified vehicle. The jury found no liability whatsoever on the part of the vehicle, returning a verdict for the defense within an hour. (November 2015)

The firm would like to welcome Brian V. DeMott as a new associate to the firm. Mr. DeMott previously clerked for the Honorable T. Henley Graves of the Delaware Superior Court. We are confident that Mr. DeMott will make an excellent addition to the firm. (July 2015)

2014

Catherine M. Cramer joined Temple Beasley School of Law as an adjunct professor in the Department of Trial Advocacy for the fall semester, coaching Temple Law School’s National Trial Team at the National Civil Rights Competition. (September 2014)

The firm is excited to announce that Michael Hendee has joined the firm as an Associates. Mr. Hendee previously served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Delaware Attorney General’s Office from 2008 to 2014. (May 2014)

The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Superior Court which Donald M. Ransom successfully argued. Mr Ransom argued that an occupant of a Delaware registered and insured motor vehicle was not entitled to excess personal injury protection coverage from her own motor vehicle insurance policy as she was an occupant of another Delaware registered and insured vehicle, pursuant to the statute and insurance policy at issue. Barone v. Progressive N. Ins. Co., 2014 WL 686953 (Del. Super. Jan. 29, 2014) aff’d, 103 A.3d 514 (Del. 2014). (Jan. 2014)

2013

Stephen P. Casarino and Rachel D. Allen obtained a favorable decision from the Delaware Supreme Court that Plaintiffs were not entitled to underinsured motorist benefits under their step-mother’s insurance policy for wrongful death of their mother because their mother was not a named insured under the policy nor was she h resident of the insured’s household. Further it was never contemplated by any party that the mother would be covered by the policy. Shuba v. United Services Automobile Association, 77 A.3d 945 (Del. 2013) (October 2013)

Colin M. Shalk successfully argued before the Delaware Supreme Court that the settled of an uninsured motorist claim was in good faith and therefore a breach of contract claim could not be maintained. Price v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2013 WL 1213292, aff’d 77 A.3d 272 (Del. 2013). (September 2013).

The Firm is excited to announce that Catherine Cramer has joined the firm as an Associate. Ms. Cramer graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law where she obtained her J.D. cum laude and a certificate in Trial Advocacy & Litigation in May 2013. (August 2013).

The Supreme Court affirmed summary judgement on behalf of Stephen Casarino’s client and found that a landlord was not liable for a customer’s injuries after she tripped on a mannequin placed by the tenant, as the landlord did not exercise sufficient control over the area where the incident occurred. Heaps v. Church St. Assocs., 2013 WL 7760048, aff’d, 65 A.3d 616 (Del. 2013) (April 2013).

Donald M. Ransom attended Advanced Mediation Training offered by the Superior Court of the State of Delaware. This course was offered to experienced mediators who have completed the Delaware Superior Court’s intensive three day mediation training program.

The Firm is pleased to announce that Beth H. Christman, Esq. was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Fellowship into the American College of Trial Lawyers is extended by invitation only to those experienced trial attorneys who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, cavity and collegiately. Membership in the College is limited to no more than 1% of the total lawyer population of any state.

Donald M. Ransom, Esq. and Thomas P. Leff, Esq. have been invited to join the American Board of Trial Advocates. The American Board of Trial Advocates is an organization dedicated to preserving the civil jury trial system through educational programs and the promotion of civility, ethics, and professionalism.

The Firm is pleased to announce that Beth H. Christman, Esq. was inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Fellowship into the American College of Trial Lawyers is extended by invitation only to those experienced trial attorneys who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, acavity and collegiately. Membership in the College is limited to no more than 1% of the total lawyer population of any state.