12Jun 2017

During its annual Golf Classic on May 12, 2017, the South Jersey Claims Association honored Sweeney & Sheehan for its more than 20 years of commitment and support of the organization. The SJCA is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of insurance education, ethical claims practices, and fellowship among a wide range of insurance professionals. Sweeney & Sheehan attorneys have taught countless SJCA continuing education classes, attended SJCA meetings and functions, and served in essential roles within the SJCA. Partners Frank Gattuso and Neal Thakkar have each served as SJCA Presidents in the past, and currently serve on the SJCA Board of Directors as Director of Legal Affairs and Director of Information, respectively. Additionally, Associate Joseph M. Hauschildt, Jr., serves as the current President of the SJCA.

12Jun 2017

Sweeney & Sheehan partners Barbara O’Connell, recognized for Employment Litigation: Defense, and Warren Voter and J. Michael Kunsch, each recognized for Personal Injury Products: Defense, have been named 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multifaceted and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Only 5 percent of the state’s 50,000 lawyers make it through the rigorous selection process.

12Jun 2017

Sweeney & Sheehan Partner Patrick Sweeney has been named Chair of the 2017 Defense Research Institute Annual Meeting, scheduled for October 4-8, 2017 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. DRI is the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. For more information about DRI or the Annual Meeting, please visit www.dri.org.

01May 2017

Sweeney & Sheehan is pleased to announce that Melissa Lang has joined the firm as a shareholder. Ms. Lang’s practice includes the resolution of claims for individual and group accidental death, disability, and life insurance benefits, both ERISA and non-ERISA. She has also prosecuted and defended sales practices claims against brokers and insurers. In addition, Melissa has more than thirty years of experience as an active litigator representing insurers, financial institutions and health care providers in complex credit, coverage, commercial and personal injury litigation.

03Feb 2017

Sweeney & Sheehan is pleased to announce the election of two senior associates, Erin S. Miller and Neal A. Thakkar, to firm partnership. Erin Miller practices in the areas of workers’ compensation, PIP, automobile liability, premises liability, nursing home liability and toxic torts/asbestos. Neal Thakkar practices in the areas of premises liability, product liability, general negligence, legal malpractice and insurance coverage, and specializes in appellate practice.

20Jun 2016

Associates Neal Thakkar and Joe Hauschildt recently prevailed in New Jersey’s Appellate Division in Lassandro v. Pep Boys, a case involving the intentional wrong exception to the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Under the Act, if an employee is entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits, he is barred from suing his employer in tort unless the employer committed an intentional wrong. To overcome the bar, the plaintiff must prove that the employer’s act was substantially certain to result in injury or death, and that the resulting injury was plainly beyond what the legislature intended to immunize. This is a formidable standard that permits a plaintiff to recover in tort only under the most egregious of circumstances.

Here, the plaintiff was a service technician at Pep Boys, and he was injured while loading a vehicle onto a lift when the lift suddenly dropped, causing him to fall and injure his knee. The lift’s safety mechanisms had been disabled by another technician for convenience, but not at the direction of management. There had been no prior close calls with the lift, and the modification did not increase profit or productivity at the expense of safety. The evidence did show, however, that Pep Boys should have been aware that the safeties were defeated, and that it permitted the condition to exist for at least two years.

Plaintiff recovered workers’ compensation benefits, but sued Pep Boys for damages. The trial court denied summary judgment, but the Appellate Division granted leave to appeal and reversed. In its opinion, the court found that while Pep Boys’ conduct was arguably negligent, creating a risk of injury by omission is not tantamount to acting with the substantial certainty that an injury would result. Further, the court held that the injury suffered by plaintiff was not one that plainly beyond what the legislature intended to immunize, as the nature of the plaintiff’s employment led to the risk of injury.

Joe Hauschildt, a former Appellate Division clerk, wrote the brief, and Neal Thakkar argued the case. The opinion can be found here: http://www.njlawarchive.com/201606101025091314065283

23Dec 2015

Sweeney & Sheehan Partner Robyn McGrath obtained a defense verdict in a malicious prosecution case tried to a jury in Atlantic County, New Jersey. The case was based upon allegations by Plaintiff, president of an HVAC contracting company ,that the Defendant owner of an equipment supplier wrongfully filed a criminal complaint against Plaintiff personally when the Plaintiff’s company bounced several checks. After a three day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant after only five minutes of deliberation.

23Dec 2015

Sweeney & Sheehan continued its tradition of supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program. The goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.
TFTTFT3

23Dec 2015

In November 2015, Sweeney & Sheehan Partner Frank Gattuso prevailed with a defense verdict at a trial before Judge Millenky in Camden County Superior Court. A jury of 8 persons unanimously rendered a verdict of “no cause” in an automobile liability case where liability was stipulated. After a 5 day trial where there was a significant amount of legal argument made during the trial concerning the admissibility of evidence, the jury felt that the plaintiff did not have permanent injuries related to the accident and found in favor of the defense.