Charity A. Heidenthal is a shareholder practicing in Zarwin Baum’s insurance defense litigation department. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of construction defect, professional liability, products liability, premises liability and insurance coverage.
Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Heidenthal served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Patricia McInerney of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Civil Division. Heidenthal earned her law degree from Villanova University School of Law. While enrolled, she also clerked for the Honorable Bernard A. Moore of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Civil Division and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Joseph J. Farnan, Jr. in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Heidenthal earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Dickinson College.
Heidenthal is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, and the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, as well as the District of New Jersey. Heidenthal is also a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Bar Associations. In 2008, 2010, 2013-2016, Heidenthal was named by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.”
Won motion for summary judgment dismissing condominium owner’s third party claims filed against condominium association, arising out of a pipe break. Court agreed the plumbing that serviced the third party plaintiff’s unit was not a common element, and as such, third party plaintiff was responsible for the pipe burst and subsequent water damage.
Successfully resolved a $500,000 dollar construction defect claim filed against a carpenter during the first few weeks of discovery for a de minimis amount. Argued that plaintiff’s expert failed to establish the client’s work caused alleged damage.
Obtained a voluntary dismissal of homeowner association’s multi-million dollar construction defect claim filed against steel fabricator and installer. Established proofs that client’s work was not the cause of plaintiff’s damages.
Secured a voluntary dismissal of homeowner association’s third party claims filed against plumbing contractor who installed HVAC system during a renovation. Successfully argued that third party plaintiff could not establish HVAC system caused water infiltration issues.
Successfully resolved breach of contract and bad faith claims filed against international insurance company by an insured property owner due to a dispute over covered and uncovered property damage arising out vandalism and theft. After several rounds of negotiation, the property owner finally conceded to the original valuation of covered damages and withdrew the lawsuit.
Secured settlement monies for an uninsured property owner from PECO. Several of the property owner’s multi-unit buildings sustained damage from a fire that was caused by PECO’s underground transmission. After several months of seeking a resolution, PECO paid for the property damage as well for lost rents.
Won the denial of plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file an amended pleading to add class action claims against client home inspector, to assert claims of violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and violation of the New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, premised on the home inspector’s inclusion of a “limitation of liability” and/or “liquidated damages” clause in the Pre-Inspection Agreement.
Secured voluntary dismissal with prejudice of lawsuit filed by plaintiff against client title company in connection with the sale of commercial property. Plaintiff, who loaned monies to the corporate property owner prior to the subject sale alleged client title company committed negligence and violated the RICO Act for failing to notify plaintiff of closing and further failing to escrow monies at time of closing.
Won the denial of plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file amended pleading to add a claim for negligence against client title company. Court denied plaintiffs’ motion finding that the applicable statute of limitations expired which could not be saved by the “relation back” doctrine.
Obtained court order forcing plaintiff to file a certificate of merit in a professional liability lawsuit filed against client attorney in which plaintiff claimed his causes of action fell outside the realm of professional negligence. Court held that plaintiff’s claims of breach of contract, consumer fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation implicated professional’s duties warranting the need for a certificate of merit.
Won motion for summary judgment limiting plaintiff’s monetary recovery against client home inspector to the amount of the “limitation of liability” clause in the Pre-Inspection Agreement. Per the terms of the Pre-Inspection Agreement, plaintiff’s recovery for any claims arising out of the home inspection was limited to the cost of the home inspection.
Won motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs’ claims against client home inspector, in which the court found that the identification and inspection of an underground storage tank is beyond the scope of a home inspector’s duties.
Won motion for summary judgment limiting plaintiffs’ damages against client home inspector to an amount of $1,300 prior to trial. Court held that claims of liability against client home inspector were limited to the issues identified by plaintiff’s liability expert’s reports and claims for damages were limited to the damages resulting from the issues identified in plaintiff’s liability expert’s reports, which were supported by correlating documentation.
Vaz v. Sweet Ventures, Inc., et al., No. UNN-L-004619-10 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div.) – Professional Liability Litigation: obtained decision on a motion for summary judgment in which the court held that licensed home inspectors in New Jersey are considered “learned professionals” and as such not subject to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and further that home inspectors can use their contracts to modify the applicable statute of limitation on home inspection claims from the statutorily provided four years.
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