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Automobile Liability

Serving our clients' needs in the automobile field is one of the oldest practice areas at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. Our attorneys have a wide range of experience in this dynamic field, and they assist our clients in remaining current with applicable case law updates. From the inception of our firm, we have serviced the insurance industry by both representing its insureds in third party cases as well as the carriers directly in first party and PIP matters.

Specifically, in each of our firm's offices throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Florida and New York, our automobile liability defense attorneys are adept at representing insureds in third party work, and carriers in UM/UIM and PIP work.

Robert E. Smith, Esq. of our Scranton, Pennsylvania office heads our Pennsylvania UM/UIM subsection and practices solely in this field. Mr. Smith is not only knowledgeable about UM/UIM law, he also is intimately familiar with the protocols and nuances of each county's local procedures and practices, factors that can have a substantial impact on the final result of a claim. 

In addition, the Automobile Liability Practice Group works closely with members of the firm's Coverage/Bad Faith, Fraud and Warranty Practice Groups as these three areas have a substantial amount of overlap. James H. Cole, Esq. of our Philadelphia office heads our Special Investigation Group and is a valuable resource for our attorneys handling PIP, third party and UM/UIM claims. 

The Automobile Liability Practice Group also is well experienced and established in third party auto liability cases, including the specific nuances with limited insurance policies and joint and several liability. James Hilly, Esq. of our King of Prussia office, heads our Trucking and Transportation Group and has focused his practice in the representation of self-insured and insurers in complex tort and insurance coverage litigation involving various common carriers and private transportation fleets, such as interstate trucking, railroads, waste haulers, taxicabs, shuttle and bus operators, rental vehicle fleets, Para transit and ambulance services. 

We are aware of today's focus on securing sound legal services at reasonable fees. Our firm has grown because of our sensitivity in this area. Our liability defense trial lawyers take a practical, result-oriented approach to the cases which they are entrusted.  Cases are assigned to the firm's more senior attorneys, who, in turn, oversee tasks completed by their team of younger associates and paralegals. The firm is able to offer competitive rates through this task-appropriate delegation. Our attorneys are keenly aware that these types of matters require responsiveness to the claims professionals, as well as consistent file updating as the matters progress in their respective forums. 

Since there are areas in which some automobile litigation can be streamlined, we are also willing to discuss, develop and implement alternative billing formats wherever possible. We would be pleased to work with you in the handling of your automobile liability matters.
 
Our defense attorneys frequently give presentations and conduct training seminars for our automobile clients as case law is updated or when a client has the need to refresh their employees on the current areas of the automobile law. We can conduct these seminars at your location or at a mutually convenient location.

The Automobile Liability Practice Group of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin serves clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Florida and New York.

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Aug 24, 2018
Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. The case involved a rear-end motor vehicle accident in which the plaintiff claimed he sustained a serious injury. The plaintiff underwent several years of...
Dec 1, 2017
Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of a school bus transportation provider in a motor vehicle/wrongful death case. ​The plaintiff was operating her car when she lost control in inclement weather, crossed over the double yellow line...
Sep 29, 2014
Obtained a defense verdict in an automobile liability trial on behalf of an international oilfield services company and its employee.  The employee was operating a semi-trailer truck while hauling 40,000 pounds of hydraulic fracturing drilling...
Jun 10, 2014
Obtained a defense verdict in a case tried in Florida involving a minister from New York who was seriously injured in an auto accident while performing disaster relief work in Florida. The minister plaintiff was allegedly an independent contractor...
Jun 10, 2014
A defense verdict was obtained after a five-day automobile liability trial on behalf of our client, a nationwide marketer and distributor of energy-related products, and its employee. The plaintiff alleged that, while sitting at a red light, he...
May 16, 2013
Won a defense verdict, even though Social Security Administration found plaintiff totally disabled for injuries suffered in accident. Plantiff's physicians noted hints of malingering. Despite sound evidence and surveillance, plaintiff claimed...
May 16, 2013
Achieved a successful defense verdict, in part, through an in limine motion that the jury be given a limiting instruction that the alleged injury is not permenant at all. Plaintiff's expert at trial based her opinions on her colleague's...
Sep 8, 2011
Attorney obtained a defense verdict in an auto negligence trial. The plaintiff alleged that she sustained two lumbar herniations, cervical radiculopathy and knee pain as a result of the chain-reaction rear end accident. The plaintiff underwent five...
Jun 20, 2011
Attorneys' obtained motion for summary judgment. The case involved an automobile accident where the plaintiff allegedly suffered serious injuries and multiple herniations and radiculopathy as a result of being rear-ended by another driver. She...
May 31, 2011
Attorney obtained a unanimous defense verdict. The matter was originally tried in July, 2009, but the plaintiff appealed, and the matter was reversed and remanded. The appellate issue involved the admission into evidence of a prior MRI report that...

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Law Alerts July 1, 2019
The plaintiff was injured in a car accident and held personal injury protection in the amount of $15,000. The standard amount in New Jersey is $250,000. The plaintiff filed a personal injury claim and wanted to include in his case evidence of..., Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2019 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice...
Law Alerts July 1, 2019
Mr. Schmelz claimed he stopped his vehicle because of a couch in the middle of the road and was then rear-ended by Martone. After Schmelz sued Martone in a personal injury claim stemming from the accident, Martone filed a third party complaint..., Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2019 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice...
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2019
Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2019 By Michael L. Detweiler, Esq.* Key Points: Claims against local governmental agencies pursuant to vehicle liability exception were actionable only if harm was caused by the voluntary movement of...,   Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2019. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to...
Law Alerts April 1, 2019
The defense was questioning an expert witness, a physician. The doctor, who had already been qualified as an expert, had performed an examination of the plaintiff over one year prior to the actual trial. While testifying at the trial, the physician..., Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2019 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice...
Law Alerts April 1, 2019
The applicable insurance policy covered “non-owned private passenger autos,” which were defined in the policy as “a four-wheel private passenger, station wagon or jeep type auto.” In this instance, an individual was driving..., Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2019 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice...
Defense Digest Article March 1, 2019
Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 1, March 2019 By Patrick J. Furlong, Esq.* Key Points: Pennsylvania Supreme Court to consider whether policy language requiring insured seeking benefits to submit to insurer medical examination violates the..., Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 1, March 2019. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Law Alerts January 1, 2019
The owner of the car lived with his girlfriend, who was not specifically listed as a driver on his car insurance policy (and not a resident relative). The girlfriend did not own a vehicle or have an insurance policy of her own. The girlfriend, while..., Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2019 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Law Alerts January 1, 2019
In this case the defendant admitted to partial liability in his answers to discovery, in the police report, and during his testimony at trial. The plaintiff argued that the court should have found in his favor on the issues of liability, negligence..., Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2019 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Law Alerts October 1, 2018
After receiving workers’ compensation benefits following an auto accident, an employee settled with the tortfeasor for his policy limits. Thereafter, he made a claim for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits through his employer’s..., Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Law Alerts October 1, 2018
The plaintiff filed a cause of action for negligence as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. During discovery, he disclosed that he sustained an injury to his lower back in the early 1980s, but testified that the injury had..., Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018 Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...

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April 10, 2019
John J. Hare, co-chair of the Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, and Heather Russell Fine, shareholder in the firm’s Casualty Department, have been selected to join the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). The IADC is...
January 23, 2018
Experienced trial attorney Heather Russell Fine has joined Marshall Dennehey's Philadelphia office as a shareholder in the firm's Casualty Department. Ms. Fine was previously a partner at Griesing Law LLC and at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, both in Philadelphia. Ms. Fine focuses her...
November 15, 2016
Marshall Dennehey announced today that Joseph J. Rava, a veteran of the insurance and defense litigation industries, has joined the firm's Westchester County office as a shareholder in the Casualty Department. Previously, he was regional house counsel for Harleysville/Nationwide Insurance, where he...
November 26, 2013
Diane Magram, shareholder in Marshall Dennehey's Cherry Hill, NJ office, has been elected president of the Southern New Jersey Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Ms. Magram was sworn-in as president on November 21 and will serve a two-year term. ABOTA is a national...
Conference Jul 12, 2017
Brooks Foland of our Harrisburg office will present "Stacking, Sign Downs, and Rejection of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Making Heads and Tails Out of All the Different Forms and Rules" at PDI's 49th Annual Conference...
Seminar Oct 26, 2017
Steer your auto case to a successful outcome and discover the twists and hairpin turns that have evolved over the past year. This course will cover new issues and updates that affect limited tort cases. Also, as an added bonus, all attendees receive...

Co-Chair

John T. McGrath Jr.
Managing Attorney, Scranton, PA Office
(570) 496-4603
jtmcgrath@mdwcg.com
Michael R. Speer
Co-Chair, Automobile Liability Practice Group
(973) 618-4108
mrspeer@mdwcg.com

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