Clark Hill’s defense counsel team which included Mel Karfis, Stephanie Anderson, Bishop Bartoni, Vince Roskovensky, and Lisa Eldridge recently obtained a directed verdict in a treestand products liability jury trial pending in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, PA). Plaintiff fell 30 feet from a treestand sustaining serious injuries rendering him a paraplegic. Plaintiff alleged that a treestand sold by the client/retailer failed to provide all the necessary components to safely install and use the treestand. Defendant responded that it did provide all the necessary components that would have been supplied by the manufacturer. Defendant further argued that even if the Plaintiff did not receive all the necessary parts and components, Plaintiff had full knowledge that he was allegedly missing parts and made a conscious decision to replace various components with unauthorized replacements. During trial, defense counsel effectively cross-examined the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff’s fact witnesses, as well as the Plaintiff’s engineers. After the close of the Plaintiff’s proofs, Defendant moved for directed verdict alleging that Plaintiff had failed to establish a prima facie case that the client/retailer sold a defective treestand and, in the alternative, the Plaintiff had assumed the risk because cross-examination at trial had revealed the Plaintiff had full knowledge that he was alleging missing vital components and knowingly used unauthorized replacement parts in an improper manner causing his fall. The trial court agreed and granted Defendants’ motion for directed verdict dismissing the case.
Vincent M. RoskovenskyVincent Roskovensky Clark Hill
Vincent M. Roskovensky
Vincent M. Roskovensky is a trusted legal advisor and experienced trial attorney with significant experience in litigation of various matters including products liability, commercial disputes, employment, real estate and securities matters. Vince’s ability to devise and implement effective litigation strategies that drive successful outcomes is rooted in his deep understanding of his clients’ needs and their priorities and goals. Vince employs creative, practical and efficient problem solving tailored for each client. His simultaneous big-picture and tactical approach has resulted in loyal and appreciative clients as well as peer recognition. Vince consistently has been selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ Rising Star from 2013 to date. Only 2.5% of Pennsylvania attorneys in private practice obtain this honor.
Vince’s portfolio of work includes:
Products liability: providing litigation defense and counseling to designers, manufacturers and distributors relating to their industrial, commercial, consumer and medical products. Representative products include: water supply/heating products, high electrical voltage equipment, industrial processing equipment, roofing equipment, hunting equipment, catheter devices, surgical equipment, equipment incorporating allegedly defective component parts and respiratory protection equipment.
Commercial litigation: providing counseling and litigation services for various businesses including those involved in the manufacture and sale of beverages and commercial products/equipment; property ownership; hospitals, physician groups/physicians; and various corporate and partnership disputes including those placing fiduciary obligations at issue.
Employment: providing counseling and litigation defense relating to issues including non-competition, state and federal discrimination issues, trade secrets, employment agreements, and ERISA/benefits litigation.
Real Estate: providing counseling and litigation of commercial and residential real estate disputes including lease/guarantee disputes, property acquisition through private and/or public sale, and easement issues.
Securities: providing litigation defense and counseling to broker-dealers and registered representatives in FINRA and court proceedings.
- “State Supreme Court Expands Potential Liability for Premises Owners in Products Liability Lawsuits,” Communiqué.
- “Hiring and Firing in Pennsylvania,” – CLE Presentation.
- “Clients and Counsel Beware: Harsh Penalties Ahead for Failure to Comply with Discovery Obligations,” Communiqué.
- “Pennsylvania Appellate Court Voids ‘Fair Share Act’,” Communiqué.
- “FDIC Further Restricts Payday Lending by Forbidding Some Repeat Loans,” Communiqué.
- “Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act,” presented to the Pittsburgh Municipal Authority Association.
Mel Karfis, Bishop Bartoni, Paul Scheidemantel, and Vince Roskovensky recently obtained summary judgment in a products liability case pending in Pennsylvania Federal Court. In this suit, Plaintiff claimed he suffered significant injuries when he fell from a purportedly defective ladder style treestand. Plaintiff’s expert opined that the design of the ladder was defective, despite the design being the industry standard. The Plaintiffs expert further opined that the warnings were defective because the warning sticker on the ladder itself was not readable by the user, despite the numerous adequate warnings found on the stand and in the instruction manual. After effective cross-examination of Plaintiffs expert during deposition, we filed a motion to preclude Plaintiffs expert from testifying at trial. We also argued in a dispositive motion that Plaintiff had no evidence of a defect in the product and that if the court agreed with our other motion, Plaintiff had no expert to establish a strict products liability claim under Pennsylvania law. The Court agreed with our arguments, struck Plaintiffs expert from testifying and dismissed Plaintiffs complaint in its entirety.