Photo of Ian S. Abovitz

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.

According to a recent news release published by the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission, deer-vehicle collisions in Pennsylvania increase annually during the fall season due, in large part, to the fall breeding season. During the fall breeding season, deer tend to be moving around more than usual and they are not paying close attention to their surroundings

In the case of Brown v. Trinidad, 2015 Pa. Super. 46 (2015), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed an $85,000 jury verdict in favor of a Plaintiff who had elected the limited tort option. In a March 9, 2015 opinion authored by Judge Lazarus, the court stated that the Philadelphia County jury’s determination that Plaintiff, Andrew Brown, sustained a serious impairment of bodily function as the result of a November 3, 2011 accident was proper.

At trial, Plaintiff presented testimony from medical expert Dr. Geoffrey Temple, who opined that Brown sustained a disc herniation at L5-S1 due to the subject accident. This injury was confirmed by MRI. Dr. Temple further testified that Brown’s injuries will have permanent effects on his life and he may require future medical treatment, including injections and/or surgery.

The jury was also presented with evidence that Brown began treatment with a chiropractor approximately three weeks after the accident when his pain became more severe. This treatment lasted for approximately five months, at which time Brown was informed that he had reached maximum medical improvement. Brown testified that he is no longer able to play with his daughter and that he has difficulty running and jumping due to his injuries.


Continue Reading Superior Court of Pennsylvania Affirms Limited Tort Verdict

In previous posts, I have written about the ever-evolving status of Facebook discovery in Pennsylvania. To briefly summarize, Pennsylvania Courts have generally held that the party seeking discovery of Facebook contents must make a threshold showing of relevance that an individual’s Facebook account is likely to contain relevant information before conducting further discovery. Such a showing is most commonly made through the discovery of relevant information within an individual’s public Facebook profile. A recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania lends some clarity regarding the limits of Facebook discovery even after a threshold showing of relevance has been made.

In the case of In re Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats, Civil Action No. 12-1011 (WD PA 2015), a class of Plaintiffs alleged that their dogs were harmed by treats manufactured by Milo’s. One such Plaintiff, Lisa Mazur, posted a Facebook entry on her public profile in which she allegedly blamed another manufacturer’s dog treat for the harm to her dog. Upon discovering this, Defendants sought further information from Mazur’s private Facebook profile.


Continue Reading Defendants Not Entitled to “Limitless” Access to Plaintiff’s Facebook Account

In a recent decision in the case of Zangenberg v. Weis Markets, Inc., et al., 10500 Civil 2012 (CCP Monroe Counrty, April 1, 2015), Judge Stephen M. Higgins granted Defendant, Weis Markets’ Motion for Summary Judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff had failed to set forth sufficient evidence that Weis was on notice of the slippery condition that allegedly caused Plaintiff’s fall.

Plaintiff alleged that her fall occurred due to a slippery condition caused by an excessive buildup of wax on the floor of the supermarket. In support of this theory, Plaintiff relied upon an invoice indicating that the supermarket floor was waxed sometime during the week of her fall. Plaintiff further relied upon the testimony of her daughter who stated that she saw a black skid mark on the floor after her mother’s fall. However, Plaintiff’s daughter was not present at the time of the fall, nor did she closely examine the area of the skid mark to determine whether there was wax on the floor. Plaintiff testified that the floor was very slippery but she did not notice any foreign substance on the floor either before or after her fall. She further stated that she did not notice anything on her body or clothing after the fall. A Weis employee testified that she examined the area of the fall after it occurred and found nothing.


Continue Reading Monroe County Court Grants Summary Judgment in Supermarket Slip and Fall

A recently proposed regulation aimed at prohibiting driver coercion could have a significant impact on the way shippers and transportation brokers hire trucking companies to move freight across the U.S. This proposed rule seeks to prohibit motor carriers, shippers, receivers, or transportation intermediaries from coercing drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles in violation of certain

I have previously written about the various exceptions to limited tort in Pennsylvania as contained in 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1705.  These exceptions allow drivers who have selected the limited tort option on their auto insurance policy to recover damages for pain and suffering as if they had elected the full tort option.  The most commonly applied

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Albert J. Snite has denied Defendant, Parx Casino and Racetrack’s motions for post-trial relief following a $7.8 million verdict awarded to the widow of a horse jockey who was killed when he was trampled by a horse at the racetrack. On the morning of May 30, 2010, jockey, Mario Ramiro Calderon of Croydon, Bucks County, was exercising his horse, Cassidy Blue, when a chicken entered the track and frightened the horse causing it to buck and throw Calderon off the saddle.
Continue Reading Philadelphia Court Upholds $7.8 Million Verdict in Parx Jockey Death Case

In a previous post, I wrote about the Barrick v. Holy Spirit decision and its impact upon discovery of communications between attorneys and experts. To summarize, the superior court reached an 8-1 en banc decision holding that communications between a lawyer and an expert witness were not discoverable. After an appeal, the Supreme Court reached a 3-3 split decision on this issue, meaning that the superior court decision was still the law in Pennsylvania.
Continue Reading PA Supreme Court Approves Rule Banning Discovery of Attorney-Expert Communications