2021 brought many obstacles, but with each one thrown our way, the Messa & Associates’ team came out stronger on the other side. It remains our sole focus to fight for our clients and work diligently to get them the outcome they deserve.
One of the highlights of the year for me was getting back into the courtroom for the first time since the shutdown. The case involved an injury to a child during an eyelid surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in which a surgical error resulted in the child sustaining permanent damage to his eye. After two and a half week trial, the jury returned a verdict of over $4 Million to compensate our client for the injuries suffered. It was a long wait to get back into the courtroom, but it was worth it in the end.
With courts still slowly reopening, we are working diligently to move our clients’ cases to trial as quickly and efficiently as possible to get them the recoveries they deserve.
Another notable achievement in 2021 was the success our firm had in litigating an appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which changed how the Fair Share Act is applied in cases across the Commonwealth. In 2011, the Fair Share Act was signed into law; the law abolished joint and several liabilities in most negligence cases and limited the ability of a plaintiff to recover the full amount of damages. This changed in Spencer vs. Johnson. Only contributorily negligent Plaintiff, Keith Spencer, was struck by a vehicle while crossing an intersection. He suffered catastrophic injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life. At trial, the jury returned a verdict, finding the company that owned the car that struck Mr. Spencer less than 60% at fault, thereby limiting Mr. Spencer’s ability to recover the entire verdict under the Fair Share Act.
On appeal, Plaintiff argued, and the Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed, that the Fair Share Act was not applicable to the matter because the law only applies in situations where the plaintiff is found to be negligent – which was not the case here. The Court’s reasoning, and ultimately its decision, will have far-reaching implications not only for Mr. Spencer, but also for numerous other plaintiffs across Pennsylvania.
As Messa & Associates continues to grow, we are excited to welcome new attorneys, paralegals, and other staff members to our team. Most of all, I am proud to have a committed team that is passionate about the work we do and compassionate to the clients we serve.
As we move into the new year, I would like to wish everybody nothing but health, wellness and happiness. It is my pleasure to continue to be part of this community, and I am looking forward to fighting every day to make it better for us all.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr., Esq.