News Brief

Donovan and Vahey Defeat Appeal in Negligence Case

October 24, 2019

John T. Donovan (Partner-Philadelphia) and Caroline S. Vahey (Of Counsel-Philadelphia) were successful in defeating the plaintiff’s appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court that arose from a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas trial. In a rear-end collision between plaintiff’s personal vehicle and a tractor trailer, we represented a road construction contractor. The plaintiff alleged that a temporary traffic control device was negligently placed resulting in driver confusion. Although the plaintiff entered into a stipulated Order during discovery agreeing that she would not pursue a claim for psychological or psychiatric injuries at the time of trial, thus prohibiting us from obtaining her psychological records, she later produced an expert report that relied on the psychological records in question. John and Caroline filed a motion in limine to exclude the report, arguing that the Rules of Evidence preclude any expert from relying on materials that are not of record, and the court agreed. At trial, our client was found only 15 percent at fault resulting in an award in the amount of $22,500. Plaintiff filed an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which refused to grant plaintiff a new trial, finding no abuse of discretion or error in judgment in the trial court’s preclusion of the expert report. 

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