Joseph Petka is one of the most active trial attorneys in the Philadelphia area. He has tried a wide range of cases including, defense of hospital and nonprofit organizations in premises liability actions, UIM/UM carriers in contract actions, and individual motorists in negligence actions.
Joseph is one of the lead trial attorneys in GMR’s premises liability department representing numerous local health systems and businesses in slip and falls/trip and fall actions. He has obtained defense verdicts in jury trials throughout Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Bucks and Montgomery counties. He was also one of the first attorneys in the region to successfully defend a UIM/UM trial to verdict after the Supreme Court overturned the mandatory arbitration requirement in Koken. Since that time, he has obtained defense verdicts in more UIM/UM jury trials than almost any other defense attorney in Philadelphia. His trial results are regularly featured in VerdictSearch Magazine.
Joseph regularly serves as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and has been a guest speaker for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. He has given presentations on premises liability defense, uninsured/underinsured motorist case strategy and trial practices, premises defense, and the anatomy of a civil lawsuit.
During law school, he worked for the Chester County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, he served as an infantryman in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and was an amateur boxing champion.
Joseph is an avid fan of boxing and politics, enjoys exercise and currently resides in Delaware County with his wife and three children.
Joe Petka Obtains Back to Back Victories for Philadelphia Health System – Jury Trial Defense Verdict and Non-Suit» Read Story
Joe Petka Wins Brain Injury Trial for Philadelphia Hospital» Read Story
This Philadelphia jury trial involved a 59-year-old female auditor who was alleging a brain injury. The plaintiff was leaving the defendant’s hospital when she allegedly tripped on a sidewalk expansion joint and struck her chin on the pavement. The plaintiff was taken from the scene of the fall to the emergency room and then followed up with her family doctor for headaches, lightheadedness, and forgetfulness as well as neck pain. Accordingly, Plaintiff was referred to a neurologist and a psychotherapist. She also had therapy for neck pain over the course of several months. The plaintiff continued to receive neurological treatment over the course of two years.
At trial, the plaintiff’s neurologist testified that she sustained permanent neurological injuries, including posttraumatic encephalopathy, posttraumatic headaches, vertigo and vestibulopathy, disequilibrium, gait dysfunction, acquired autonomic dysfunction with lightheadedness, and a bi-temporal cortical injury, as well as an injury to both frontal lobes of her brain.
Although the plaintiff was sympathetic, on cross-examination, Joe had her admit that because she sustained head injury, she did not know why she fell. She further admitted that her earlier testimony that she tripped on the expansion joint was just her “best guess.”
Accordingly, after the plaintiff rested his case, Joe made a Motion for Non-Suit as the plaintiff failed to prove why she fell. After hearing argument on the issue, Judge Shreeves-Johns of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas dismissed the jury and entered a non-suit for the hospital.