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Career Biography

As co-chair of Zarwin Baum’s casualty defense department and co-chair of the Firm's employment practices, 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.

Representative Matters

Goldstein v. Nexgrill, etal. USDC, No.: 06-5043.
Represented manufacturing company in a class action matter in which purchaser alleged that a grill did not work properly. Settled the case for minimal amount prior to class certification hearing.

Marianacci v. Infinity Insurance, etc., M.D. Pennsylvania, C.A. No. 3:06-cv-01484
Bad faith modest settlement satisfactory to the client, Infinity Insurance, in a case arising out of a motor vehicle accident where the plaintiff suffered numerous injuries. After settling with the tortfeasor, the plaintiff brought a claim for UIM benefits that was eventually settled by the Defendant. The plaintiff then brought a lawsuit alleging bad faith on the part of the Defendant for failing to evaluate the claim, investigate the claim in a timely manner, and facility to negotiate and pay the claim.

Buffa v. Infinity, CCP Montgomery County, No.: 04-29334
Mr. Toddy successfully defended a breach of contract/insurance bad faith case in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. In a bifurcated trial, a jury entered a judgment of “no cause of action” on plaintiffs’ claims of breach of contract obviating the need for a bench trial on the bad faith issues. \

The plaintiffs’ car was damaged in a motor vehicle collision. Immediately following the collision, the insurance company, defended by Toddy, paid for repairs to the vehicle, treating the matter as a covered collision loss. When plaintiffs were not satisfied with the repairs, they returned the vehicle to the body shop. At that point, the defendant company approved and paid for supplemental repairs. Several months later, plaintiffs presented the company with a report and a claim that the repairs were done improperly and that the car was devalued as a result thereof. The company denied any further benefits under the policy indicating to the plaintiffs that their problem was with the body shop who performed the repairs.

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.

Higley v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, etal. Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, No. 02860.
Represented gasket manufacturer in asbestos litigation matter in Philadelphia, PA. Plaintiff alleged his mesothelioma was caused by client's products amongst others. Small Phase I verdict of only $250,000.00 against nine defendants in reverse bifurcation trial led to the case resolving prior to trial on Phase 2 liability issues.

Reed v. National Retail Transport, Inc., Court of Common Pleas, Luzerne County, CA., No. 4034-C 2004. Defense verdict.
Plaintiff alleged that clients' driver lost control of his tractor-trailer, crossed over into the plaintiff's lane and collided with plaintiff's tractor-trailer forcing the Plaintiff off the road and into several trees. Defendants maintained that their tractor-trailer encountered a sudden emergency on an unforeseeable patch of black ice, which caused the defendant driver to skid and lose control of his vehicle. After deliberating for approximately one hour, the jury returned a defense verdict concluding the Defendant's driver was not negligent. Defendants successfully used the testimony of an accident reconstructionist and the plaintiff to support defendant's theory of sudden emergency.

Powell v. Keystone Freight Corp., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, C.A.: December Term 2007, No.: 4269.
During trial reached a settlement satisfactory to the client arising out of a collision between a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant's employee and the plaintiff's vehicle. The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant's vehicle ran a red light, had numerous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act violations and collided with the plaintiff's vehicle, causing fatal injuries.

Jordan & McCloud v. Ortiz & National Retail Transportation, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, C.A. July Term 2006, No.: 4678. Defense verdict.
Represented defendant trucking company and driver in a lane merge accident case in which both plaintiffs alleged they sustained serious injuries. Successfully argued that the plaintiffs were attempting to pass defendant's truck from the shoulder while defendant was in the process of making a right hand turn and that plaintiffs' driver, was completely responsible for the accident. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant and found plaintiff fully responsible for both plaintiffs’ injuries.

Stricker v. Keystone Freight Corp., Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County, C.A., No. 0206538-27-2. Defense verdict.
Represented defendant trucking company relative to an accident that occurred in the Oxford Mall parking lot. Plaintiff unsuccessfully alleged that the defendant's truck backed into plaintiff's lane of travel, struck their vehicle and killed the decedent. Successfully argued that the defendant's truck was not in motion at the time of the accident and the plaintiff suffered a massive heart attack just prior to the impact with defendant's truck.

Dixon v. Bucks County Transport, Inc., Court of Common Pleas, Bucks County, C.A., No. 0503426-28-2. Defense verdict.
Plaintiff was injured while being transported from her home by the defendant. Plaintiff, who was wheelchair bound, claimed the defendant's employee failed to properly strap her in the vehicle and as a result, she sustained nerve injuries when her foot struck the seat in front of her. The defense was able to prove the plaintiff was indeed strapped in properly and her nerve injury pre-dated the accident.

Carter v. Wheels Transportation, Inc. et al., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, C.A., October Term 2003, No. 003434
Obtained an extremely small verdict satisfactory to the client where the Plaintiff sustained serious injuries to her low back when she was attempting to enter the Defendant’s vehicle via a stool and collapsed under her weight.

Watson v. Jarrett and Keystone Freight Corp., CCP, Philadelphia County, No.: 001371
Received a defense verdict following a two (2) day trial in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Toddy represented a regional trucking company, whose driver was involved in an accident with a pick-up truck on Old Lincoln Highway, or Route 1, near Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff alleged that the trucking company’s driver pulled out of a Sunoco gas station and blocked three travel lanes, creating an unavoidable obstacle to Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff suffered severe injuries including a closed fracture of the femur, concussion with loss of consciousness, a closed fracture of the spine at C6, ulnar fracture with dislocation of the head of the radius, and a closed fracture of tibia. Prior to trial, Plaintiff’s demand was $250,000.00. Toddy took the position that the trucking company’s driver was not negligent, and that Plaintiff’s intoxication as evidenced by a D.U.I. conviction, coupled with his excessive speed, was the cause of the accident. Toddy demonstrated his theory through the testimony of John Karpovich, an accident reconstructionist, who testified that based on a scientific evaluation of the accident scene, the Plaintiff’s delayed perception and speeding were the sole causes of the accident. After deliberating for approximately forty-three minutes, the jury returned a defense verdict concluding that the trucking company’s driver was not negligent in the operation of its tractor trailer.

Benson v. Giant Food Stores, LLC, USDC Eastern District of PA, No.:209-cv-03194
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. 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’.

Matkoff, Shengold. Multiple settlements satisfactory to client.
Represented defendant law firm in a series of cases relative to misrepresenting the status of claims to clients and its representation after the statute of limitations had already expired. As it turned out, the firm had not filed lawsuits in any of the cases. Successfully settled the matters under the policy limits without personal exposure to the law firm.

George L. Miller Chapter 11 Trustee v. Marcel Dutil, et al, Adversary Case No. 05-00145-BIF.
Represented a bankruptcy trustee/accountant in an adversary proceeding for a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The trustee had filed claims against former officers and directors of the debtor for $30 million and the defendants counterclaimed against the trustee for malpractice. Successfully secured dismissal of all claims except one at summary judgment. As a result, the case settled with no payment by client on the counter claims.

Schwing v. Eli Lilly & Co. et al., E.D. Pennsylvania, C.A., No. 03-4848
Represented the plaintiff in a suit, alleging a wrongful denial of severance benefits under ERISA. Plaintiff won at trial and was granted a large fee petition. Case is currently on appeal to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Watcher v. The Pottsville Area Emergency Medical Service Inc., M.D. Pennsylvania, C.A., No. 00-CV-1123
Represented the plaintiff in an age discrimination suit, alleging that she was demoted and subsequently terminated from her employment because of her age. The jury returned a gross verdict for the plaintiff in excess of $200,000 and was awarded substantial attorneys fees.

Connery, et al v. Connery, et al, CCP, Delaware County, No. 92-5300. Jury verdict for clients.
Represented family members in a matter against a brothe, alleging he forged a deed which sold the decedent's father's estate to his son while leaving the four other children none of the real estate. Secured jury verdict in favor of clients who found that the deed was, in fact, forged and ordered that the real estate be placed back into the decedent's estate.

CC Mug, Union County, New Jersey. Defense verdict.
Represented defendant bar in a dram shop and alleged inadequate security matter in which plaintiff sustained scaring and serious facial injuries as a result of a beer mug being thrown by another patron during a "happy hour." Defended suit to the jury, alleging there was no notice of visible intoxication by the thrower and that if security was inadequate plaintiff would not have been reading a novel while seated at the bar.

Walker v. Brodsky, Philadelphia County CCP, Sept. Term 1995, #1433. Defense verdict.
Successfully defended insured driver, who was involved in an accident with a bicyclist operating his bicycle southbound on northbound Broad Street in Philadelphia when struck by the insured's vehicle. The bicyclist sustained a fractured leg amongst other injuries.

Roche v. Ugly Duckling Car Sales Inc. et al, Court of Common Pleas, Dauphin County, C.A., No. 5177-CV-2001-CV. Summary Judgment for Defendant.
Defended against claims by the plaintiff who suffered catastrophic injuries when struck by a vehicle stolen a short time before the accident from an unfenced, unguarded and unprotected lot owned by the client. The Plaintiff alleged that the vehicle was left in this area with keys readily available to car thieves.

Summary judgment for defendant's used car auction company.
Represented defendant in a matter in which plaintiff police officer suffered catastrophic injuries when struck by a vehicle stolen from defendant's premises. Plaintiffs alleged defendant's improper security led to the accident. Defendant was able to get summary judgment based on the fact that plaintiff's injuries were not a foreseeable consequence of a vehicle being stolen from defendant's premises, which was more than 30 miles away.

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
On March 30, 2012, a jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Defendants, a regional supermarket chain and its landlord. Joseph M. Toddy, Esquire represented a regional supermarket chain in connection with a slip and fall incident that occurred outside its supermarket.

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.


Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph Gentile, CCP, Delaware County, No.: 4117-0. Defense verdict Swiss Replica Watches.
Successfully represented defendant in a criminal matter involving an alleged assault in Delaware County, showing the jury that the client did not intentionally strike alleged victim.


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Joseph M. Toddy

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Philadelphia, PA
Mount Laurel, NJ

Automobile Insurance Coverage & Liability
Insurance Coverage Law & Bad Faith Litigation
Premises and Habitational Liability
Products Liability
Professional Liability
Trucking & Transportation
New Jersey
New York
U.S. Supreme Court
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Third Circuit Court of Appeals
New Jersey Supreme Court
New Jersey District Court
U,S, District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U,S, District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
J.D., Widener University
B.A., University of Notre Dame
New York State Bar Association
President of The Tall Trees At Thornbury Homeowner’s Association
Defense Research Institute
Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
New Jersey Association of Defense Counsel
Voted Super Lawyer in Pennsylvania, 2005 through 2016
Voted Super Lawyer in New Jersey, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
President, Tall Trees of Thornbury Home Owners Association
Notre Dame Monogram Club
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