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Ian S. Abovitz is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Accident & Personal Injury Group in the Yardley, Pennsylvania office. Mr. Abovitz concentrates his practice on complex injury, medical negligence and construction accident claims.

A recent ruling from Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas may have opened the door for a new and unique basis for punitive damages in Pennsylvania. In this specific case, the counsel for plaintiff has alleged that Marie Gulbin, an elderly woman, lost consciousness while driving her vehicle due to an untreated urinary tract infection (UTI). This caused her to cross into the opposing lane of traffic and hit the vehicle of Chrystal Clauss-Walton head on, resulting in severe injuries. The Plaintiff alleged that Gulbin decided to get behind the wheel despite suffering from known symptoms of a UTI, a condition she knew (or should have known), could cause fainting if left untreated.

Continue Reading Driving With a UTI May Provide Basis for Punitive Damages

The Philadelphia Code places the burden upon both owners and tenants to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks. Chapter 10, Section 720 requires owners and tenants to thoroughly clear a path not less than 30 inches in width on all sidewalks bordering the building or premises within 6 hours after the snow or ice has ceased to fall. This ordinance further states that it shall be a violation to place snow or ice that has been removed from sidewalks in the street.
Continue Reading Philadelphia Requires Residents to Remove Snow

While there can be no doubt that we are currently living in challenging and unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the attorneys and staff at Stark & Stark are still working hard to obtain justice for injured victims. We are proud to say that we remain open for business with all attorneys and staff working from home, and in compliance with social distancing guidelines. That being said, the COVID-19 outbreak presents some unique challenges that must be addressed when pursuing a personal injury case.

Continue Reading How Will COVID-19 Affect My Injury Case?

Over the course of my career as a personal injury attorney, I have had the unfortunate experience of explaining to countless injured individuals that I am unable to handle their case. While this is never an easy conversation, any skilled personal injury attorney will tell you that it is a necessary part of the job.

In this blog post, I will explain how and why we make these decisions, and what you can do to maximize the chance that an attorney will take your case.


Continue Reading I’m Injured, Why Won’t Any Lawyers Take My Case?

This is the fifth in a series of posts summarizing the civil causes of action available under the PA Human Trafficking Statute. Thus far, I have addressed who can sue under the statute, who can be sued, and the powerful list of “nondefenses” provided within the statute. This post addresses the various types of civil damages that are recoverable under the statute.

The language of the PA Human Trafficking Statute provides that a victim may recover the following types of damages:

  • Actual/compensatory damages;
  • Punitive damages;
  • Injunctive relief;
  • Attorney fees and costs; and,
  • Treble damages.


Continue Reading What Damages Are Available Under the PA Human Trafficking Statute?

This is the fourth in a series of posts summarizing the civil causes of action available under the PA Human Trafficking Statute. Thus far, I have addressed who can sue under the statute and who can be sued. This post will address the powerful list of “nondefenses” provided within the statute.

The PA Human Trafficking Statute provides a very specific and comprehensive list of 14 factual scenarios that cannot be relied upon as a defense to a civil action brought pursuant to the statute. This list of “nondefenses” is as follows:


Continue Reading Victim’s Consent Not a Defense Under PA Human Trafficking Statute

This is the third post in a series of posts breaking down the civil causes of action available under the Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Statute. In my last post, I discussed who could bring a case under the statute; this post addresses who can be sued.

The text of the statute allows victims of the sex trade to bring a civil lawsuit against three separate categories of persons:
Continue Reading Who Can Be Sued Under PA Human Trafficking Statute?

In the first civil lawsuit under the Pennsylvania human trafficking statute, a hotel in Northeast Philadelphia has been accused of providing rooms to human traffickers. The statute establishes that businesses that directly or indirectly benefit from human trafficking can be forced to pay compensation to victims. A person commits an offense if the person knowingly traffics or knowingly attempts to traffic another person, knowing that the other person will be subjected to forced labor or services.

Continue Reading Lawsuit Filed Under Pennsylvania’s Human Trafficking Law