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Toddy Wins Case For Regional Supermarket Chain

August 18, 2010

On August 18, 2010, Joe Toddy, Co-Chair of Zarwin Baum’s casualty defense department, was successful in defending a regional supermarket chain following a three (3) day trial in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs’ were represented by Gene Foehl, Esquire of Media, PA. This action was brought by Plaintiff for personal injuries incurred when Plaintiff purchased a rotisserie chicken from Defendant’s supermarket and swallowed a 4 centimeter metal screw which was contained within the chicken. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of ingesting the screw, he suffered from massive rectal bleeding as well as other internal bleeding. Further, Plaintiff made a claim for economic damages including an allegation that he lost his job, and lost his house in foreclosure which caused him and his wife and two children to live in separate states; and that since this incident his family’s life has been decimated. Plaintiff’s wife also brought a loss of consortium claim as she alleged that she stopped working after this incident in order to take care of her husband.

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’.

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