Wrongful Death Caused by Electrocution and Severe Burns for $10,000,000.00
Oct 28, 2011
Red Bank, N.J. - October 28, 2011. John E. Keefe, Jr. and Stephen T. Sullivan, Jr. of Keefe Bartels announced that they have settled a wrongful death action against New Jersey Transit Corporation and New Jersey Transit Rail Operations after a sixteen hour mediation with the Honorable L. Anthony Gibson (ret.).
On February 25, 2008, J.D. (real name has been withheld for privacy reasons) who was 37 years old, was working for Beaver Concrete Construction Company (hereinafter "Beaver") as a laborer at the Seventh Street Bridge in Newark, New Jersey. Struck by an electrical arc from New Jersey Transit's and/or New Jersey Transit Rail Operations' (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Transit") catenary line, J.D. was set afire. He suffered terrible second- and third-degree burns to approximately seventy-two percent of his body and other traumatic personal injuries. The arc, however, did not kill him. Instead, immediately following the accident, J.D. was conscious and communicated with his co-workers, who extinguished the flames devouring his body.
Between February 25, 2008 and March 1, 2008, the surgeons at St. Barnabas Medical Center's Burn Unit performed numerous medical procedures to save his life. During this time, J.D. was conscious and suffered constant and unrelenting excruciating pain, anxiety and psychological trauma. Tragically, after fighting for six days, on March 1, 2008, he passed away.
Prior to the accident, J.D. was the active, vibrant, loving husband of his wife and two young children. J.D. was involved on a daily basis in his children's lives. He loved sports and the outdoors and would go fishing with friends and family. His young family lost his services as a dedicated husband and father, including, but not limited to, maintenance, upkeep and repair of the family home, vehicles and yard; companionship; and his caring and compassionate guidance, instruction, and advice.
His spouse, individually and as Administratrix and Administratrix ad Prosequendum of the Estate of J.D., filed a survivorship and wrongful death action titled. In it, she alleged that Transit's employees failed to inform Beaver's work crew, including J.D., of the area where the catenary lines were de-energized. Further, Transit's employees failed to position themselves where they could observe and protect Beaver employees from movement beyond the de-energized work area. Discovery revealed that Transit's employees violated Transit's unambiguous safety rules and procedures for protecting outside contractors. These violations were a direct cause of the accident that took J.D.'s life.
During a marathon mediation session, Messrs. Keefe and Sullivan resolved this matter with the assistance of Judge Gibson. Transit and several insurance companies, including Travelers, QBE Insurance Company and the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, agreed to settle for $10,000,000.00. On October 21, 2011, the Honorable Patricia K. Costello, A.J.S.C. approved the settlement, which included structures for his wife and her children. In her written Opinion, while discussing Keefe Bartels' skill and efforts in litigating and resolving the action, Judge Costello stated:
Counsel spent significant time, and employed significant skill, in representing plaintiff during litigation. It successfully navigated to completion a difficult settlement process between numerous liable parties and plaintiff's own varied needs, including structured settlements for her children. Its efforts were unusual and exceptional.
Janes v. CIBA-GEIGY Corporation Class Action Settlement
Jun 07, 2011
Red Bank, N.J. â€“ June 7, 2011 The Honorable Jamie D. Happas, P.J.S.C., granted Final Approval of a proposed Settlement during a Fairness Hearing at the Middlesex County Courthouse, New Jersey, resolving a lawsuit filed by Class Representatives, Kathleen Janes, Anthony and Lynne Sermarini, John and Connie McDaniel, and Robert Hann against CIBA-GEIGY Corporation and other defendants. Reviewing the extensive Court record developed over 10 years of intensive litigation, examining the parties' detailed legal and factual submissions, and finding that no Class members objected, Judge Happas ruled that the Settlement was fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court noted that the Settlement, which includes direct and indirect monetary benefits to Class members, resulted from counsel and the parties thinking "outside of the box." The Settlement is valued at approximately $20 million dollars.
The Class Representatives had alleged that the defendants manufactured a variety of chemicals and compounds at CIBA-GEIGY's facility in Toms River Township, New Jersey, generating extensive wastes. They further alleged that the Ciba defendants improperly disposed of these wastes in various unlined areas, contaminating the site and neighboring area.
The Class Representatives contended that their properties lost value because of the contamination and the Ciba defendants' delay in cleaning it up. The Action did not seek recovery for personal injuries or medical treatment.
Complimenting current Class Counsel, the law firms of Keefe Bartels and Pellitieri Rabstein & Altman, the Court described their work for the Class Representatives and the Class as "Legal representation at its best."
"I am very happy that we were able to conclude this decade of litigation so favorably for the homeowners in Oak Ridge Section of Toms River, who have lived in the shadow of the CIBAâ€“GEIGY site â€“ one of this State's biggest Superfund sites. We came to know well, and to respect greatly, the Class Representatives. Their dedication and perseverance were matchless. We are delighted that they, as well the attorneys and support staff that worked so hard, well and long on this case, are now rewarded by a tremendous result", stated John E. Keefe, Jr. of Keefe Bartels. Mr. Keefe particularly lauded the work of Stephen T. Sullivan, Jr. also of Keefe Bartels, whose efforts were instrumental in producing the Settlement.
Easton PA man catastrophically injured in I-78 crash recovers $2.6M settlement in Middlesex County
Nov 12, 2010
Red Bank, N.J. - November 12, 2010 - A trucking company agreed to pay $2.6M to settle a lawsuit filed by an Easton, PA man who was injured in a multi-vehicle collision on the eastbound express lanes of Interstate 78 in Union Township, New Jersey on January 12, 2009.
William Wilder, of Easton, Pennsylvania, was 50 years old and employed by Sheridan Printing in Alpha, New Jersey when the accident occurred. He was on his way to make a delivery in New York City when a Mack Dump truck traveling in the westbound express lanes of I-78 crossed over the center median and guardrail, setting in motion a series of collisions that ultimately impacted Mr. Wilder's vehicle, seriously injuring him. Two other drivers were killed in the accident and a fourth driver was injured.
Mr. Wilder suffered a fractured left femur, knee and elbow, a fractured right forearm, a fractured pelvis and a traumatic brain injury, among other serious and devastating injuries. He has been unable to work since the accident.
The Wilders were represented by Patrick J. Bartels and John E. Keefe, Jr. of Keefe Bartels. "The Wilders are in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope that this settlement gives them some peace of mind about the future as they move forward," stated Patrick Bartels.
Anthony Talalai, et al. v. Cooper Tire and Rubber Company
Sep 13, 2002
Settlement valued at $3 billion to consumers.
John was appointed by the Superior Court as plaintiffs' liaison counsel in the historic consumer fraud national class action, Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co ., and played the key role in the largest settlement valued between $1 billion and $3 billion dollars to consumers.