Firm News

News about our firm and from around the Subrogation World

RMI $651,335.00 SUBRO VERDICT UPHELD BY OHIO APPELLATE COURT

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March 16, 2020

In a unanimous decision, the Ohio 10th Appellate District has upheld a $651,335.00 jury verdict in favor of a subrogated insurer and its insured. The case, COMTEX, et al. v. Turner / PSC Metals was tried in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, and argued in the appellate court by RMI Attorneys Glenna Roberts and Dustin Smith.

The February 20, 2020 ruling upheld a verdict that had been challenged in post-trial motions and then on appeal since the verdict was rendered back in 2017. The original verdict after a four day trial involved a commercial subrogation claim asserting a large nationwide metal recycling corporation had wrongfully converted product belonging to the insured.

The appellate court ruled that the trial judge properly decided a duty to mitigate instruction was inapplicable under the facts of the case. The opinion noted “the duty to mitigate arises only where the injured party has knowledge that it has sustained damages.” The court also held that under Ohio law, contributory fault is not available as an affirmative defense in a conversion case. The appellate court further ruled the trial court did not err in denying the defense motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial.

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RMI COUNSEL GUEST PRESENTERS AT OHIO IAAI CONFERENCE ON PUBLIC & PRIVATE COORDINATION OF FIRE INVESTIGATIONS

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Event attended by over 300 Ohio fire fighters, public investigators, members of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and private investigators.

RMI Attorneys Glenna Roberts and David Matejczyk were honored to be guest presenters at the IAAI Northern Ohio Chapter Annual Seminar on fire investigations held on February 23 at Ashland University.

The RMI portion of the seminar addressed coordination issues involved between public and private investigations. Topics covered included control and transfer of the scene from the public investigator, safety considerations, overhaul as it impacts cause and origin determination, sharing of information and resources, forensic exams and fire causation trends in Ohio. The program included excellent discussion, interaction and sharing of ideas among the attendees.

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RMI AWARDS & PRESENTATIONS AT NASP 20th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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This past month the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) held its 20th annual conference in Orlando, Florida. RMI has been involved in NASP since its inception and was proud to be part of the 20 year celebration of subrogation professionals. Attorneys from our property and auto divisions were also presenters at the conference.

At the Sunday night reception, NASP President Kevin DeGarmo presented RMI partners Glenna Roberts and David Matejczyk with 20 year perfect attendance awards.  Dave was the conference chair at the inaugural (and two subsequent) NASP Annual Conferences. Both are past board members of the organization.

The following morning, RMI Attorney Amanda Martanovic received her Certified Subrogation Recovery Professional (CSRP) designation.  Amanda oversees the automobile subrogation division at RMI. Amanda was also a co-presenter in the automobile track at the conference. The session “Let’s Play Categories: Dealing with Challenging Insureds” explored multiple issues involving auto subrogation.

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RMI SETTLES $550,000.00 GAS EXPLOSION CASE: Second large loss gas explosion settlement in back to back months

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RMI in back to back months has recovered by way of settlement two significant six digit gas explosion cases.

This past month the firm settled a natural gas explosion that destroyed an insured’s commercial building in Columbus, Ohio. The previous month RMI resolved a residential explosion that completely destroyed a home. On both losses, the firm was retained within twenty-four hours after the explosions.

The $550,000.00 commercial building settlement was very close to the calculated actual cash value of the loss.

Despite being on site immediately, there was “catch up” involved as the gas company had already commenced return to service repairs.

The loss involved a main gas line servicing several city blocks. Luckily, an evacuation of the insured’s building occurred minutes prior to the blast that rocked the downtown area. The blast destroyed the insured’s building and displaced multiple commercial tenants.

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AMANDA MARTANOVIC AND GLENNA ROBERTS PRESENTED AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE “ANATOMY OF AN AUTO SUBROGATION TRIAL”

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RMI Attorneys Amanda Martanovic and Glenna Roberts were presenters at a popular session in November during the 2017 NASP Annual Conference held in Austin, Texas, titled “Anatomy of an Auto Subrogation Trial.” The unique program involved a mock automobile subrogation trial where attendees played the role of jurors during the program.

Attorney Martanovic represented the insurer as the plaintiff’s subrogation counsel. In her role, she presented an opening statement, cross and direct exam of witnesses, and closing arguments. Attorney Glenna Roberts acted as judge during the trial, ruling on objections and instructing the jurors prior to deliberations.

The trial involved subrogaton professionals from the industry serving as trial witnesses (insureds, adjuster and fact witnesses). In this formidable battle between the parties, liability was evaluated, damages were dissected, and the credibility of witnesses was assessed. At the conclusion, the jury was instructed and deliberated before rendering a verdict that was then discussed at length.

Amanda Martanovic leads the auto subrogation department at RMI. She has litigated multiple automobile cases throughout Ohio. Glenna Roberts is a founding partner at RMI.

 

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RMI OBTAINS $651,355.00 JURY VERDICT ON SUBRO PROPERTY LOSS

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After a four day trial, a Franklin County, Ohio jury issued a verdict in favor of a subrogated insurer and its insured, awarding damages in the amount of $651,355.00.

The case, COMTEX, et al. v. Turner / PSC Metals, was tried by Roberts, Matejczyk & Ita attorneys Glenna Roberts and Dustin Smith.

The $651,355.00 award was the exact amount requested in closing by Attorney Roberts.

The subrogated insurer and insured successfully argued that the defendant, a large nationwide scrap metal company, had wrongfully converted product belonging to the insured. The defendant made only a nominal offer prior to trial. The case involved expert testimony as to standards of care in the industry and valuations.

On the fourth day of trial, the case went to the jury, who deliberated for two hours before making the award. A motion for prejudgment interest has been filed.

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2017 Litigation Skills Conference on Subrogating Construction Defects a Success!

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The 2017 NASP Litigation Skills Conference held in Scottsdale Arizona, April 27-28, 2017 was a success. The two day conference featured experts, insurers and attorneys from across the country addressing the topic of subrogating construction defects.

RMI Partner Glenna Roberts chaired the conference.  Here is a link to the Subrogator Magazine conference wrap up: 2017 NASP Litigation Skills Article 

David Matejczyk was a co-presenter at the conference on the topic of "Overcoming the Independent/Subcrontactor Defense in a Subrogation Construction Case."

In addition to presenting the legal issues involved in this topic, attendees were provided with sample discovery materials to use when addressing this defense to a subrogation case. If you would like a copy of the sample discovery, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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