Firm News

News about our firm and from around the Subrogation World

RMI DEHUMIDIFIER FIRE SETTLEMENTS $462,000 Aggregate in Recent Settlements

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RMI recently resolved three dehumidifier fires with an aggregate recovery of $462,000.00 in settlements. The losses involved fires in southern, central and western Ohio.

Although the losses involved two different foreign manufacturers, all involved the same failure mode. In all three fires the dehumidifiers overheated, ignited combustible materials within the product with fire then extending to adjacent combustibles.

More specifically as to the product defect, each case involved an internal failure of the thermal protection device in the dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers have been the subject of wide recalls in the United States. However, the Ohio Rules of Evidence do not permit the introduction of a recall into evidence to prove liability. An additional challenge is that the manufacturers involved are foreign corporations.

On all three losses RMI was involved in the early stages. The firm ensured that the proper entities (including the US supplier and seller) were on notice, scene preserved, that an NFPA compliant joint scene exam was held followed by a forensic lab examination to identity the failure mode.

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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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ATTORNEY DUSTIN SMITH JOINS RMI - Brings Engineering Background to Firm

Attorney Dustin Smith Hard Hat

Dustin Smith has joined Roberts, Matejczyk & Ita Co. as an associate attorney.

“Dustin brings an engineering background that makes him a natural fit to the property section of our subrogation practice,” noted partner Glenna Roberts.

He will primarily work on subrogation assignments from insurers involving commercial and residential fires, cases involving electrical and mechanical failures, water losses, construction defects, structure failures and product liability claims.

Dustin is a 2014 graduate of Cleveland Marshall College of Law and a 2010 graduate of the engineering program at the Ohio State University. At Ohio State he obtained his bachelor degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. He was a member of the university’s freshman Engineering Honors Program.

His engineering studies included extensive course work in electrical circuits, structural stress analysis, fluid dynamics and thermodynamics. While in college, Dustin also worked for a construction company in Columbus, Ohio.

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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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