LITIGATION CASE LAW UPDATE
DEFENDANT PREVAILS AFTER COURT FINDS PLAINTIFF FAILS TO MEET BURDEN OF PROOF
The Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of Defendant State Farm Mutual Insurance Company in a matter arising out of an alleged breach of contract as to the payment of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Protection benefits (“PIP”), as Defendant showed that the Plaintiff could not meet the burden of proof.
The Court explained that Plaintiff must establish causality between the injuries and the accident, pursuant to 21 Del C. 2188(a)(2). Defendant’s expert opined that Plaintiff’s injections received in 2013 were related to injuries from an April 2009 accident, not the March 2013 accident that was the subject of the case. The Court concluded “that Plaintiff’s injuries were in fact pre-existing, and therefore, the treatment sought in connection with these injuries was not necessary and causally related to the March 2013 accident.”
Moreover, the Court also wrote that the Plaintiff’s trial testimony was unclear, contradictory, and,Court noted, “less than compelling.”
Please contact Patrick G. Rock or any of the liability department attorneys for further discussion of this matter.
Patrick G. Rock, Attorney for Defendant
Rivera v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, CPU4-14-003168 (October 20, 2015)
EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE
SUPERIOR COURT FINDS FAULT IN UIAB APPLICATION OF EMPLOYER’S COMMUTING POLICY IN JUST CAUSE TERMINATION DECISION
The Superior Court reversed an Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board decision that an employee was terminated for just cause due to insubordination for not agreeing to transport work materials to a job site without pay.
Plaintiff’s typical work day begins at 7:00 a.m.; however, in September 2014, Plaintiff was contacted by his employer with directions to arrive at the shop at 4:30 a.m. the next day to pick up a load of materials to take to a job site. Plaintiff said that he would not drive the materials to the job site unless he was paid for doing so. Instead of arriving at the shop at 4:30 a.m., Plaintiff arrived at his normal time and was subsequently fired.
Plaintiff was found to be insubordinate for his refusal to drive the work vehicle to the job site without pay. The Court, however, found that the employer’s policy only indicates that employees “will not be compensated for travel time from home-to-work” and because of that policy the Court concluded that “There is a big difference between going from your home to a job site and going from your home to the shop and then driving your employer’s truck loaded with steel for two and one-half hours to a job site. The former is commuting. The latter is working.”
The Court found that Plaintiff’s termination was not supported by the employer’s policy and that it was not an act of insubordination to refuse to work without pay.
Brown v. First State Fabrications, LLC; C.A.No.: S15A-02-001 ESB; (November 17, 2015)
H&F REACHES 100% PARCITIPATION IN COMBINED CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE
Heckler & Frabizzio has reached 100% participation in the Combined Campaign for Justice 2015. The Combined Campaign for Justice works to provide legal aid to low-income Delawareans.
TOPOR ADMITTED TO DELAWARE BAR
We are pleased to announce that Amanda Topor (Widener School of Law, ’15), sworn into the Delaware Bar on December 9, 2015, has been named an associate attorney in the Workers’ Compensation department.
During law school, Amanda served at Heckler & Frabizzio as a law clerk, and also as an intern at the Office of the Public Defender in Wilmington, Delaware. Amanda also provided legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence as a Certified Legal Intern with the Delaware Civil Clinic, and volunteered at the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware.
FLASSER ADMITTED TO DELAWARE BAR
We are pleased to announce that Gregory Flasser (Widener School of Law, ’15), sworn into the Delaware Bar on December 9, 2015, has been named an associate attorney in the Workers’ Compensation department.
While in law school, Gregory served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Kent A. Jordan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also interned with the legal department of Corporation Service Company (“CSC”) in Wilmington, Delaware. Gregory was the Styles Editor for the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law and the Internal Manager of the Transactional Law Honor Society.