Jean Jean-Pierre
Markenson Smith And Troy Battistoni Trucking, Inc.

Court & Docket No.:
Philadelphia County, August Term, 2006; No. 1955

Hon. Diane Welsh, JAMS

The Plaintiff, Jean Jean-Pierre, was a passenger in the front seat of a southbound sedan driven by Defendant, Markenson Smith, in the left hand lane of Route 309, Montgomery County, near the Pennsylvania turnpike. A dump truck owned by the Defendant, Troy Battistoni Trucking, Inc., was in the right lane ahead of Smith when it merged into Smith’s lane of travel. Defendant Smith who was traveling well in excess of the speed limit slammed on his brakes, but nevertheless, rear-ended the dump truck.

Immediately following the acci­dent, Plaintiff was extricated from the front passenger seat and transported by ambulance to Abington Hospital and then air­lifted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital where he was diagnosed with an aortic tear and fractures to his hip, femur and nose. The Plaintiff underwent surgical repair on the aorta tear and an open reduction and internal fixa­tion for the femur fracture. He remained hospitalized for approximately three months. Thereafter, the 20 year old Plaintiff treated with home ther­apy and physical therapy for sev­eral months. There was a $57,000.00 welfare lien repre­senting medical bills. In addition to the orthopedic injuries, the Plaintiff had suffered cognitive deficits in the form of diminished understanding and slowing of thinking process.

Defendant Battistoni vigorously defended on liability on the basis that Defendant Smith was a sub­stantial factor in causing the accident by speeding and square­ly rear-ending the truck, as well as the fact that Battistoni claimed he had not improperly changed lanes and his truck had been in the left lane for approxi­mately 3-5 seconds prior to impact. Nevertheless, on account of joint and several liability, and the fact that the Defendant Battistoni had substantial expo­sure if found liable at trial, the case successfully settled.

Outcome of Case:
Mediated; $727,500.00. The Defendant Smith paid the policy limit of $15,000.00 while Defendant Battistoni paid the difference.

Plaintiff’s Experts:
John Esterhai, M.D. (orthopedic surgery);
Ronald Greene, D.O. (orthopedic surgery);
David J. Massari, Ph.D. (neu­ropsychology);
Thomas P. Lacek, P.E. (trucking liability expert); and
Robert P. Wolf, Ed.D., M.B.A. (vocational expert).

Defense Experts:
Karl Rosenfeld, M.D. (orthopedic surgery).

Plaintiff’s Attorneys:
Ronald A. Kovler and Brad S. Rush, Kovler & Rush, P.C., Philadelphia, P A

Defendant’s Attorneys
James M. Alexander, Raymond W. Ruthrauff Jr. & Associates, Philadelphia, PA, (Markenson Smith) and John S. Tucci, Jr., Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, Philadelphia, PA (Battistoni Trucking, Inc.).