Thorpe Shwer attorney Andrea Marconi named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona
Thorpe Shwer Prevails on Motion to Dismiss in Franchisor Liability Action
Thorpe Shwer attorneys Brad Shwer, Kristin Paiva, and Jamie Gill Santos successfully defended one of the nation’s largest franchisors in a matter in Florida state court. The complaint alleged various allegations of negligence.
Following briefing and oral argument, the court granted the franchisor’s motion to dismiss on 3 separate, but related, cases, thereby dismissing all claims against the client.
Thorpe Shwer attorneys Kristin Paiva and Spencer Scharff successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of a husband and wife seeking to recover damages resulting from a breach of a promissory note.
Thorpe Shwer Prevails On Summary Judgment in Promissory Note Litigation
Thorpe Shwer’s Summary Judgment Victory For Its Railroad Client Affirmed by Ninth Circuit
Thorpe Shwer, P.C. attorneys Bill Thorpe, Brad Shwer, and Jamie Gill Santos were successful in arguing to the Ninth Circuit that the District of Nevada’s ruling on
summary judgment in favor of its major Class I railroad client should be affirmed. The case was brought by a trespasser who was struck along mainline track in New
Mexico and sustained serious injuries. The trespasser’s wife also sued. The plaintiffs raised numerous theories of liability against both the railroad operating the
train involved in the accident, as well as another railroad that owned the tracks in question. The district court granted both railroads summary judgment on all claims,
finding that the only duty owed to the trespasser under New Mexico law was not to willfully or wantonly injure him and that there was no evidence suggesting the railroads
acted in such a manner. The plaintiffs appealed the summary judgment decision pertaining to the railroad operating the train to the Ninth Circuit.
After extensive briefing in 2014, on April 13, 2016, the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of the railroad.
Thorpe Shwer, P.C., a leading litigation boutique firm in Phoenix, Arizona, announces that William Thorpe, Andrea Marconi, Kristin Paiva, Jamie Gill Santos, and Spencer Scharff have been named in Super Lawyers 2016.
Thorpe Shwer Prevails on Summary Judgment, Again, For its Railroad Client
Thorpe Shwer attorneys Bill Thorpe, Brad Shwer, and Adam Reich successfully obtained summary
judgment on behalf of a major Class I railroad in a matter in Maricopa County Superior Court. The case
was brought by the injured driver and the representatives of a deceased passenger following a fatal grade
crossing accident in Northern Arizona. The plaintiffs raised numerous theories of liability against the
defendant, including claims related to the actions of the train crew, the physical characteristics of the
crossing where the accident occurred, and several alleged violations of federal regulations. After
extensive briefing in 2013 related to, among other things, federal preemption of the plaintiffs’ claims, the
court granted summary judgment to the defendant, resulting in the dismissal of all claims against the
defendant. The plaintiffs appealed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, who upheld the majority of the trial
court’s decision. The Court of Appeals determined, however, that the trial court failed to consider one of
the plaintiffs’ claims and remanded for further proceedings. Following additional briefing on the
remaining claim, the trial court again granted summary judgment, resulting in the second dismissal of all
claims against the defendant.
Thorpe Shwer Obtains Unanimous Defense Verdict
Thorpe Shwer attorney, Adam Reich, and Laurel Stevenson of Haden Cowherd & Bullock in Springfield,
Missouri, recently obtained a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of a major Class I interstate railroad
following a five-day jury trial in Webster County, Missouri. Adam became involved in the case less than
a month before trial at the request of the client’s General Counsel. The litigation arose following an
accident in which the plaintiff struck the side of the defendant’s train at a public grade crossing. The then
25 year-old plaintiff underwent eight surgeries following the accident for various orthopedic injuries. At
trial, the plaintiff advanced several theories of liability concerning the actions of the train crew and
alleged that the defendant failed to comply with several federal regulations. The plaintiff’s experts
claimed that she suffered traumatic brain injuries, as well as serious orthopedic injuries. They estimated
that plaintiff’s economic losses exceeded $4 million. Following a five-day jury trial, the jury deliberated
for 40 minutes before returning a unanimous defense verdict assigning 100% of the fault for the accident
to the plaintiff.
Thorpe Shwer Obtains Complete Defense Verdict
Thorpe Shwer attorneys William Thorpe and Adam Reich, along with Laurel Stevenson of Haden, Cowherd & Bullock in Springfield, Missouri, recently obtained a complete defense
verdict on behalf of a major Class I interstate railroad, following a two-week jury trial in the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Missouri. The case was brought by an injured
plaintiff and his spouse arising out of an accident in which the plaintiff was struck by the defendant’s train at a private grade crossing. At trial, the plaintiffs advanced
numerous theories of liability concerning the physical characteristics of the crossing and the defendant’s policies regarding the sounding of the train’s horn on approach to
private crossings. Plaintiffs claimed the injured party suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries, and multiple orthopedic injuries as a result of the accident. The
trial court granted the defendant’s motion for directed verdict at the close of the plaintiffs’ case-in-chief on all but one theory of liability. During closing argument,
plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury for an award of up to $10,000,000. After only one hour of deliberation, the jury returned a complete defense verdict, assigning 100% of the
fault for the accident to the injured plaintiff.
Thorpe Shwer Prevails on Motion to Dismiss in Franchisor Liability Action
Thorpe Shwer attorneys Brad Shwer, Kristin Paiva, and Spencer Scharff successfully defended one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing franchisors with over 1,000
franchisee-owned locations in a matter in Nevada state court. Among other things, the complaint alleged claims for breach of contract, tortious and contractual breach
of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligent hiring/training/supervision/retention, infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability, negligent
business operations, and punitive damages. Following briefing and oral arguments, and within two months of the filing of the complaint, the court
granted the motion to dismiss, thereby dismissing all claims against the client.
The number of pending individual actions consolidated in multidistrict litigation courts in 2014 constituted a staggering 36% of all pending cases in federal district courts.
Yet the most effective tool available to resolve this increasing share of the federal caseload—bellwether trials—remains hamstrung by a 1998 Supreme Court decision, which limited
MDL courts to pretrial proceedings. This article contends that the Federal Bar should revive the push to rewrite 28 U.S.C. § 1407 as a means to increase the effectiveness
of bellwether trials that have become a vital component to the adjudication of aggregate litigation in MDL courts.
The first of July 2015 marked the launch of Arizona’s Commercial Court Pilot Program. With the adoption of this pilot program, Arizona has joined 19 other states that have formed similar commercial
courts that are designed to process commercial cases more efficiently in order to help reduce the burdensome costs associated with commercial litigation. Notably, the new rules of civil procedure adopted
by the Arizona Supreme Court grant the Commercial Court mandatory jurisdiction over all commercial cases filed in Maricopa County. This article includes a brief overview of the new Commercial Court
and provides insight on what your business can expect during the pilot program.
Thorpe Shwer attorneys successfully defended one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing franchisors with over 1,000 franchisee-owned locations in an employment-related matter in California state court.
Thorpe Shwer attorneys recently argued and won an appeal before the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division I on behalf of BNSF Railway Company involving the preemptive scope of the Locomotive Inspection Act, 49 U.S.C. § 20701, et seq.