2017 – A Year in Review

Posted By: Tony Baratta | January 18th, 2018

In 2017 the lawyers of Baratta, Russell and Baratta achieved life changing results for many clients.  Below are some of the highlights of 2017.

These clients, these heroes, all had one thing in common: a careless actor had changed their life.

In a Confidential Settlement, a young man who had lost both legs above his knees trying to help a motorist who had suffered a flat tire was guaranteed annual income for life and enough money to pay for a lifetime of his extensive medical care.  This case involved 9 years of litigation against 4 defendants and resulted in payments of over $5 million dollars.

  • The case had been litigated in the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County.
  • Attorney – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq.

In a Settlement just before Trial, a woman who had been caused the loss of her job because of the effects of fibromyalgia suffered following a rear end motor vehicle accident, received over $300,000, sufficient payment to address the loss of income over her remaining expected work life, to pay for future medical costs and to make up for the pain and the loss of life’s pleasures that pain caused.   Fibromyalgia is a disease process that cannot be seen in an x-ray study, MRI, or blood test.  There is no test for it.  So, to prove that a client suffers from the constellation of symptoms called fibromyalgia requires working with a doctor familiar with it and then presenting witnesses who will testify about the differences in the client’s life before and after the car wreck which caused the injury.

  • The case was litigated in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.
  • Attorney – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq.

In a case that will affect Pennsylvania drivers statewide, the brain injured victim of a drunk and uninsured driver was able to defeat Erie Insurance Company’s contention that the victim had only $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage and that the coverage was not stacked despite his owning 4 vehicles.  BRB was able to successfully argue to the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas that because the victim had added vehicles to his policy after he originally decided to deny stacked coverage, Erie should have obtained a new written waiver of stacked coverage each time he added a vehicle to the policy and that his underinsured coverage under the policy was $400,000.  Erie has filed an appeal to the Superior Court from the trial court judgment in favor of the victim.

  • Successfully Argued to the Monroe County Court of Pleas
  • Attorney- Andrew DiPiero, Esq.

In a Jury Trial, a verdict in the amount of $625,000 was returned for a woman who underwent unnecessary surgery to remove a suspected pelvic tumor that didn’t exist. The young woman suffered scarring to her abdomen and the scarring to one fallopian tube making conception more difficult.  In this medical malpractice case tried before a jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the defendants had made a pre-trial offer of $100,000.

  • The case was tried to a jury in United States District Court, Eastern District of PA
  • Attorneys – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq. and Andrew DiPiero, Esq.

In a Confidential Settlement, the 4 adult children of a woman who had slipped and fallen due to a wet floor in a bathroom within a Bucks County business, and died due to the head injuries suffered, were able to receive justice for the pain and suffering and loss of lifetime income endured by their mother, and for their own losses of their mother’s guidance and love.  The case was litigated over a 5-year period in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas and resulted in a large six figure confidential settlement amount.

  • Litigated in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas
  • Attorney – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq.

In a Medical Malpractice Case, litigated in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, a woman was able to achieve a large six figure confidential settlement from an orthopedic surgeon who had unintentionally cut her patella tendon with a shaver while performing a meniscal repair.  Although the woman suffered no loss of earnings and the subsequent surgery she underwent to repair the tendon was successful, the payment she received helped make up for the lengthy and painful period of two years of life as she had known it before lost due to the carelessness of the surgeon.

  • Litigated in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Attorney – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq

In a Trucking Accident Case, a young man received a combined $725,000 in a settlement made on the eve of trial with two separate trucking companies.  The case was litigated over a two-year period in the Federal Courts of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  The young man had been driving to work in Chester City in the early morning hours when a tractor tanker operator, whose vision was partially blocked by a tractor trailer stopped in the right lane of the two-lane road in which the plaintiff was in the left, pulled from a stop sign causing the plaintiff to crash into the side of the tanker.  The young man suffered a mild traumatic brain injury the effects of which caused a loss in earning capacity, the need for past and future medical care and the loss of his usual and customary enjoyments in life.  The money achieved for this young man will help secure his future income and medical needs.

  • Litigated in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Attorney – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq

In a Medical Malpractice Case a Confidential Settlement was Achieved, for a man who lost his job with Walmart due to a random blood test revealing, falsely, the presence of marijuana.  Walmart had entered a contract with a local doctor to take blood from Walmart employees for random blood testing.  The physician’s office staff failed to follow the proper guidelines to take and then send the blood for testing causing the plaintiff’s blood to be mislabeled and improperly tested.  Our client, already past retirement age, chose to not return to any further employment feeling embarrassed by the false test result.  The compensation our client received paid him for the years he had expected to continue to work for Walmart had he not been fired.

  • The case was handled in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas.
  • Attorney – Andrew P. DiPiero, Esq.

A Settlement was achieved for a teenage boy with significant cerebral palsy who had been caused a fractured humerus bone (the bone of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder) while staff members of the public school at which the boy was a student were changing his diaper.  The case was hotly litigated over the issue of whether the Tort Claims Act (which makes public schools immune for the harms caused by their staff) applied, or whether the real estate exception to that act, which would allow recovery, applied.  The settlement achieved was sufficient to reimburse the Department of Public Revenue for all of the medical costs incurred to pay for the injury caused.  BRB was also able to protect the teenager’s continuing rights to SSI benefits by coordinating a special needs trust.

  • The case was handled in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.
  • Attorney – Andrew P. Baratta, Esq.

A Disappointment – 2017 included a bad result for one of our clients and the year in review could not be complete without mention of that grave disappointment.  You will notice that this is the one case in which our client will be mentioned by name.  Violet Farmer is one of the nicest persons you could ever meet.  She will be 80 years old in 2018.  She has been married to her husband Robert for more than 50 years.  She had slipped and fallen in her driveway suffering a fractured hip.  During the general anesthesia she received for the hip repair surgery, the anesthesiologist tore her esophagus (the food tube) causing her to need a thoracotomy (a substantially painful surgery in which the chest cavity is explored by making a large incision).  This was necessary to repair the torn esophagus.  We contended that the anesthesiologist improperly used a bougie (a catheter like device) to place the endotracheal tube and tore the esophagus.  The defense argued that the injury was a risk of the procedure to place an endotracheal tube.  There was no offer to settle made by the defense pre-trial and the defendant anesthesiologist refused to consent to any settlement.  After 4 days of testimony and argument, a Montgomery County jury found for the defendant anesthesiologist.  We point this case out to show that we are not infallible, that we sometimes lose, and that sometimes clients we think are deserving do not receive justice despite our best efforts.

  • The case was tried in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County.
  • Attorney – Anthony J. Baratta, Esq.

2017 included many other significant cases and successful results for our clients, heroes who have endured with class the painful costs of the careless acts of others.  The above list is simply a highlight of some of those stories.

As we review 2017 we are looking forward to another challenging and rewarding year in 2018 as we continue to represent our clients against the careless acts of others.


About the Author

Anthony J. Baratta (Tony) is a trial attorney. He has tried more than 50 cases to Juries in State and Federal Courts and has litigated thousands of personal injury and medical malpractice cases in his 30-year career. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and an active board member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA). Tony is also on the board for the Philadelphia VIP and performs pro bono work for the Laurel House, a non-profit for victims of domestic abuse. In addition, Tony is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys, voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers for the past 14 years, and a 2018 recipient of the First Judicial District Pro Bono Award for the Civil Trial Division.

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