Brendan is a shareholder in Zarwin Baum’s Commercial Litigation and Professional Liability practice groups. Since joining the firm in 2007, he has handled a variety of defense related matters, including professional liability, construction defect, product liability, trucking and transportation, automobile liability, premises liability and workers' compensation. For the past several years, Brendan's practice has focused on complex commercial litigation, including business torts, contracts, shareholder's rights and real estate. Brendan handles all aspects of civil litigation from inception through conclusion, including arbitration, trial, complex settlement and appeal.
In addition to litigation, Brendan also counsels a national provider of mobile diagnostic services, assisting with the review and negotiation of a wide variety of contracts, including professional services agreements, consulting and employment agreements, commercial leases and various vendor agreements.
In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Brendan was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star, an honor received by only 2.5% of Pennsylvania Lawyers each year. Rising Stars are chosen by their peers as being among the top promising lawyers in the state.
Contracts: Obtained verdict for commercial real estate brokerage firm in case involving a commission dispute. The Broker had an Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement with the owner of a multi-unit apartment complex in Delaware County. After the term of the Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement expired, the owner sold the property to an entity that the Broker introduced the property to during the exclusivity period. Following trial, the Court awarded the Broker the full amount of the commission plus thousands in pre-judgment interest. The case settled while on appeal.
Construction: Secured favorable settlement for homeowner in suit involving construction defect claims against developer, general contractor and several subcontractors. The homeowner recovered nearly all damages claimed, despite substantial liability and coverage issues.
Contracts: Secured favorable settlement for Illinois corporation in contract dispute against Pennsylvania corporation and its principal shareholder. Defendant corporation effectively went bankrupt shortly after suit was filed. Following discovery, which revealed significant comingling of personal and corporate funds, the principal shareholder agreed to resolve on terms favorable to the client.
Legal Malpractice: Secured dismissal of client, a law firm and one of its shareholders, in a defamation action brought against them by a non-client alleging the shareholder had defamed the plaintiff in connection with underlying litigation. The trial court sustained Preliminary Objections asserting that the alleged defamatory statements were privileged as a matter of law. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s decision and the Supreme Court denied allocatur.
Insurance Broker Malpractice: Represented insurance brokerage firm and its principal in malpractice/bad faith case brought by former clients claiming the broker failed to procure proper insurance for a development project. The case settled on terms favorable to the broker after plaintiffs made multiple misrepresentations and inconsistent statements during their depositions.
Home Inspection: Secured dismissal of action brought against home inspection company by a former client arising out of an inspection and subsequent home purchase. Plaintiff asserted claims for fraud, intentional concealment/non-disclosure, negligent misrepresentation, conspiracy and violations of the UTPCPL. The trial court sustained Preliminary Objections based on the gist of the action and economic loss doctrines, and dismissed all claims against the client.
Legal Malpractice/Fair Debt Collection: Represented attorney and debt collection firm in suit alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The case resolved for a negligible sum shortly after suit was filed.
Motor Vehicle: Successfully defended driver in pedestrian knockdown case where plaintiff alleged that he was struck while crossing the street. Driver counter-claimed for property damage, alleging that plaintiff’s own negligence caused the accident. The driver prevailed and was awarded the full value of the property damage to his vehicle.
Premises Liability: Secured favorable settlement for regional supermarket chain in slip and fall case. Plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on water, resulting in both physical injuries and cognitive impairment. Discovery revealed that plaintiff’s physical injuries were minor and a pre-existing history of cognitive impairment. Shortly after the discovery period ended, plaintiff agreed to resolve for nominal sum.
Premises Liability: Secured favorable settlement for regional supermarket chain in trip and fall case involving numerous defendants, including several contractors, the landlord and the property management company. Plaintiff tripped and fell immediately outside of the supermarket and claimed serious physical and psychiatric injuries, including two suicide attempts that plaintiff’s experts related to the incident. Relying on certain provisions of the lease and admissions by the landlord and property management company, the case was resolved on terms favorable to the supermarket.
Successfully defended insurer against appeal to Commonwealth Court by employer claiming it had been lulled into the false belief that it had workers’ compensation insurance coverage through insurer based on insurer’s filing of an answer on behalf of employer. Shortly after filing the answer, insurer learned that it was not on the risk on the date of injury and, therefore, withdrew. In affirming the WCJ and WCAB decisions dismissing insurer from the matter, the Commonwealth Court concluded the insurer’s actions did not require it to afford coverage for the claim.
Successfully defended against appeal to Commonwealth Court wherein injured worker argued that WCJ’s decision granting termination of benefits was improper. On appeal, claimant argued that the WCJ erred in granting termination of benefits where employer’s own medical expert recommended additional treatment after the date of full recovery. In affirming the decisions of the WCJ and WCAB, the Commonwealth Court concluded that the treatment was recommended merely at the behest of claimant and, therefore, the WCJ did not err in granting employer’s termination petition.
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