As co-chair of Zarwin Baum’s casualty defense department, Joseph M. Toddy focuses his practice on litigation matters, including defense of trucking companies, dentists, auto and premises liability and taverns. He assists insurance carriers in bad faith litigation as well as issues involving employment litigation and white-collar criminal defense.
With nearly 25 years in practice, Joe has gained extensive jury trial and appellate experience. Prior to joining Zarwin Baum in 1993, Joe was employed at another large Philadelphia law firm and also as an assistant district attorney in the Northumberland County District Attorney’s Office, where he handled all types of felony criminal trials, including murder and arson matters.
Joe has tried more than 50 cases to verdict in numerous states and serves as national trial counsel for a leading asbestos manufacturer and trucking company. He is also actively involved in handling catastrophic injury matters from the outset with Zarwin Baum’s CAT team.
Joe has been selected numerous times for inclusion in Pennsylvania "Super Lawyers" as published by Philadelphia Magazine and voted into "New Jersey Super Lawyers" as published by New Jersey Monthly. He is an A.V. rated attorney.
Buffa v. Infinity, CCP Montgomery County, No.: 04-29334.
Several years later, the plaintiffs instituted a claim against the carrier alleging that the company breached the insurance contract by failing to compensate them for the alleged faulty repairs under the comprehensive portion of the policy. In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that the failure to so compensate them was a breach of the carrier’s duty of good faith and fair dealing and constituted bad faith pursuant to 42 Pa. C.S. §8371. In the carrier’s defense, Mr. Toddy argued that the carrier properly treated the claim as a collision claim and paid for the damages according to the policy. The jury agreed finding that there was no breach of the insurance policy when the carrier refused to pay any further benefits.
TRUCKING AND TRANSPORTATION
Powell v. Keystone Freight Corp., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, C.A.: December Term 2007, No.: 4269.
Jordan & McCloud v. Ortiz & National Retail Transportation, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, C.A. July Term 2006, No.: 4678. Defense verdict.
Stricker v. Keystone Freight Corp., Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County, C.A., No. 0206538-27-2. Defense verdict.
Dixon v. Bucks County Transport, Inc., Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County, C.A., No. 0503426-28-2. Defense verdict.
Carter v. Wheels Transportation, Inc. et al., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, C.A., October Term 2003, No. 003434
Watson v. Jarrett and Keystone Freight Corp., CCP, Philadelphia County, No.: 001371.
Benson v. Giant Food Stores, LLC, USDC Eastern District of PA, No.:209-cv-03194.
Toddy stipulated to negligence and defended the case on the basis of causation and damages. Specifically, Toddy took the position that Plaintiff’s claims of rectal bleeding and internal bleeding were unsupported by the medical evidence. Through discovery, Toddy found that Plaintiff complained of rectal bleeding just one (1) week prior to ingesting the screw. Further, Toddy argued that Plaintiff’s complaints were due to the pain he suffered from his pre-existing hernia. As for plaintiff’s economic damages claims, Toddy learned through discovery that Plaintiffs’ experienced major financial difficulties long before this incident and even declared bankruptcy just one (1) year prior to the screw ingestion. Toddy uncovered that Plaintiff pled guilty to Bank Deposit Fraud, a crimen falsi offense, a few years earlier, which was admitted into evidence at the Trial. Through vigorous cross examination, Toddy impeached and discredited not only the plaintiff himself, but also Plaintiff’s medical expert who conceded that Plaintiff’s complaints of rectal bleeding and internal bleeding were not supported by the medical evidence. Prior to the Trial, Plaintiffs’ settlement demand was $650,000. After deliberating for approximately one (1) hour, the jury unanimously found that the Defendant was negligent and that Defendant’s conduct was a factual cause in bringing about Plaintiffs’ injuries. However, the jury did not award any damages to the Plaintiffs’.
EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS
REAL ESTATE LITIGATION
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Summary judgment for defendant's used car auction company.
Kane v. Giant Food Stores, LLC, Philadelphia County, No.:0364. Just minutes after the conclusion of Joe Toddy’s opening statement, Plaintiff agreed to settle her case in accordance with the settlement value that a Common Pleas Judge in Philadelphia placed on the case months prior to the Trial rather than face the intense cross examination that would have exposed major flaws and possible fraud in her case.
The thirty year-old female Plaintiff alleged in her Complaint that she was walking inside Defendant’s supermarket and slipped and fell on soda that was on the aisle floor. As a result of the fall, Plaintiff sustained a medial meniscus tear to her right knee and underwent two surgeries, a partial lateral meniscectomy, and a neurolysis of the peroneal nerve of the right knee. It was Plaintiff’s position that she was fully disabled as a result of this incident. Plaintiff’s attorney retained numerous experts including a vocational expert and economist who calculated Plaintiff’s total future loss of earnings and earning capacity between $1.2 to $3.3 million dollars.
Through extensive discovery, Toddy obtained all of Plaintiff’s prior medical records which showed that plaintiff sustained prior injuries to her right knee including an ACL/PCL reconstruction. Toddy also obtained Plaintiff’s facebook page which revealed that Plaintiff was lying about her injuries and that she was not fully disabled. Lastly, Toddy gathered evidence to impeach and discredit Plaintiff’s experts including Plaintiff’s treating physician whom Toddy repeatedly referred to throughout his opening statement as the accident doctor.
Prior to Trial, Plaintiff’s settlement demand was $4.5 million. On the eve of trial, Plaintiff reduced his settlement demand to $2 million. The trial began before a jury of 12 and immediately after the conclusion of Toddy’s opening statement, Plaintiff settled the case in accordance with Judge Allen’s recommendation.
Finneson v. Giant Food Stores, LLC, CCP Chester County, No.: 09-13473.
This action was brought by Plaintiff in the Court of Common Pleas in Chester County Pennsylvania for injuries incurred when Plaintiff, a 53 year old female, stepped into a divot in the curb outside the entrance/exit of Defendant’s supermarket. As a result of the fall, Plaintiff who was right handed broke her left elbow and underwent a left radial head arthroplasty. Following the surgery, plaintiff had a prosthesis put into her left elbow, and claimed that she will need a replacement of her prosthetic elbow during her lifetime. Plaintiff also brought a claim for past and future wages lost totaling more than $40,000. After filing an Answer to the Complaint, Toddy filed a Joinder Complaint against the landlord as pursuant to the lease agreement, the landlord was responsible for the area where Plaintiff fell. After extensive motion practice, the trial judge refused to grant Toddy’s Motion for Summary Judgment and consequently this matter proceeded to Trial. Interestingly, two (2) weeks prior to trial, Plaintiff entered into a six figure settlement with the landlord and executed a joint tort release. Notwithstanding same, Toddy recommended that his client not make any settlement offers to Plaintiff, and just proceed to trial. The client complied. After a three day trial, the jury found that both Defendants were not negligent. Plaintiff’s settlement demand prior to trial was $250,000.
Farrow v. YMCA, C.C.P. Chester County, No. 2011-09790 –
Jury returned a verdict of $40,000 in favor of Plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit where liability was not contested defense counsel, Joseph Toddy, Esquire. Specifically, Plaintiff was injured while participating in a fitness class, when a light fixture fell from the ceiling and landed a few feet away from her. Plaintiff’s reaction caused her to fall, at which time she sustained a non-displaced femoral neck fracture of the left hip. A few months later, the elderly Plaintiff suffered a stroke that she alleged was causally related to the initial trauma. As Plaintiff’s settlement demand was $1,000,000, the parties were forced to engage in prolonged litigation. On the eve of trial, Plaintiff’s demand was $475,000 and the Judge placed a settlement value of $250,000 on the case. At the advice of Joseph Toddy, Defendant extended a $40,000 offer that was rejected by Plaintiff. At trial, Attorney Toddy was successful in precluding the introduction of medical bills amounting to approximately $60,000.
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