Joe Petka Obtains Factual Cause Defense Verdict in Philadelphia UIM Trial

Mr. Petka defended a national UIM carrier in a lawsuit for first-party benefits. The plaintiff, who was a 45-year-old sprinkler fitter, was struck by an out-of-control vehicle on Roosevelt Boulevard. The plaintiff alleged herniations in his lower back and a meniscal tear in his left knee. The tortfeasor’s carrier quickly tendered the minimal policy limits in the third-party action, and the plaintiff brought an action for UIM benefits. At the trial, the plaintiff’s orthopedic expert testified that plaintiff’s injuries were permanent and resulted in significant limitations. Moreover, the plaintiff alleged that he could not work overtime because of his injuries. However, during discovery Mr. Petka obtained the plaintiff’s work records, which contradicted his overtime claim. Mr. Petka impeached the plaintiff with these records during cross-examination and cast plaintiff’s credibility as to injuries in serious doubt. Accordingly, a 12-person Philadelphia jury found that the plaintiff did not suffer any injury at all, and entered a defense verdict.