PRACTICE AREASWe Specialize in 14 service areas
At McCormick & Priore, integrity and intensity means real involvement with our clients, to acquire an in-depth understanding of the defendant’s industry and overall business context. As a result, we are sought after for a broad range of defense litigation, and also for forward-looking counsel, helping clients anticipate and pre-emptively resolve potential legal issues.
Select a Practice Area for more information:
McCormick & Priore has extensive experience in all aspects of automobile insurance litigation: third-party liability actions, uninsured motorist claims (“UM”), underinsured motorist claims (“UIM”), first-party benefits (“PIP”) actions, bad faith claims, and coverage disputes. The claims in these actions can range from the “typical” soft-tissue injury, to paralysis, to wrongful death, with issues regarding both liability and medical causation. The attorneys at McCormick & Priore have not only litigated hundreds of such cases; they also routinely serve as defense arbitrators in UM/UIM cases, and lecture extensively regarding automobile insurance actions. In addition, Mr. McCormick is also the author of UM/UIM Digest of Reported Cases in Pennsylvania (1989, and Updates 1991 through the present).
Bad Faith Actions and Claims
A “buzzword” for plaintiffs’ attorneys, the number of bad faith claims has skyrocketed over the past few years. Often, plaintiffs’ claims amount to little more than “fishing expeditions,” yet defending these claims can be very expensive and document intensive, with the slightest nuance in a claims adjuster’s notes being magnified in importance. In some instances, a “bad faith” claim really means an alleged lack of “good faith” on the part of the insurance carrier. Other claims, however, fall within statutory provisions, such as Pennsylvania’s Section 8371 of the Insurance Code, which contains its own definitions and set of remedies and damages, including the awarding of attorney’s fees. At McCormick & Priore, we have defended numerous “bad faith” claims on behalf of our insurance clients, whether asserted under the common law or under statutory provisions. In each case, we work closely with our client to identify the critical issues involved with the claim and develop the necessary litigation plan for successfully defending the action.
Civil Rights Litigation and Constitutional Law
“1983″ actions are becoming increasingly common, especially in connection with the arrest and prosecution of criminal defendants. Members of law enforcement are often sued for civil rights violations when effecting arrests and otherwise discharging their duties. Such cases run the gamut from claims of excessive force, unlawful detention, and illegal searches and seizures, to civil conspiracy and privacy violations, and these cases almost always contain a claim for punitive damages. Such cases often also involve claims against the municipalities that employ the individual defendants, for inadequate training or supervision. From what constitutes protected speech under the First Amendment, to the limits of the expectation of privacy under the Fourth, to the application of qualified immunity, the attorneys at McCormick & Priore have comprehensive, specialized knowledge of the complex constitutional concepts involved in defending such claims, and have successfully done so on behalf of its clients.
Construction Accidents and Defects
We possess a broad range of experience defending general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry against claims ranging from relatively minor injuries to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death lawsuits. Successfully maneuvering among and utilizing the various contractual, statutory and judicial provisions involved in multi-party construction suits is the hallmark of our abilities in this area. McCormick & Priore also handles construction defect claims arising out of small and large construction projects, as well as contractual indemnity claims and issues that frequently accompany such litigation.
Environmental Clean-up and Damages
Governmental actions for the cleanup of waste dumps can be particularly challenging. Many statutes provide for strict liability, without regard to time, knowledge or volume, and with limited defenses to these actions. In addition to governmental actions, it is very common for residents and workers in the area of a landfill (or dump site) to bring lawsuits asserting claims for personal injuries and the diminution of property value. At McCormick & Priore, we defend clients in a variety of actions, ranging from large landfills and dump sites, to small underground storage tanks on residential or commercial properties.
Insurance Coverage and Insurance Law
McCormick & Priore has provided opinions to insurance carriers on all aspects of coverage issues, arising from virtually any setting. This includes providing coverage opinions and pursuing declaratory judgment actions where necessary, on such wide ranging issues as comprehensive general liability policies, contractor and subcontractor insurance policies, excess insurance policies, garage policies, homeowners policies, and automobile insurance policies. On issues as diverse as pollution exclusions and the stacking of automobile coverages, each policy and endorsement is critically analyzed to determine whether the coverage is applicable in the first instance, whether the conditions of the policy for providing coverage have been met, whether the particular fact pattern warrants the application of an exclusion, as well as whether a duty to defend exists at all, and the possible need for a reservation of rights.
Mass Tort and Complex Litigation
Class actions, federal court MDL proceedings, state-wide consolidation of lawsuits, and single actions involving hundreds of plaintiffs all present unusual challenges to both the courts and the attorneys involved in the cases. Often, these lawsuits involve products liability and/or toxic tort actions in which the plaintiffs claim injuries from the use of, or exposure to, a product or waste material. However, the use of “mass tort” claims is also growing in various other areas, such as insurance coverage disputes. McCormick & Priore’s experience in these areas of litigation is very extensive and includes: acting as National Counsel for a phentermine manufacturer in the fen-phen litigation; co-lead defense counsel for several manufacturing defendants in the latex glove litigation; defending claims by 300 plaintiffs asserting injuries from PCB exposure; defending against claims by residents living in the area of landfills; and defending class action claims for insurance coverage and payments.
Police Liability-Public Official Professional Liability-Municipal Liability-Security Company Liability
In conjunction with its Civil Rights Litigation and Constitutional Law practice, McCormick & Priore also has experience defending police departments and other public officials, as well as civilian entities such as private security guards, security companies and private detectives, in state law claims alleging assault and battery, false arrest, and other intentional torts. McCormick & Priore’s attorneys have very specialized experience used to successfully defend such claims. In addition, our attorneys possess the background and knowledge needed to handle a vast array of public entity liability matters, including highway design and traffic control issues, property maintenance, and improper governmental actions.
The area of “premises liability” is quite extensive and varied: it encompasses “slip and fall”, wrongful serving of alcohol, wrongful detention by store security, assault and battery, and dangerous conditions on property. At McCormick & Priore our clients in this area range from shopping centers, retail stores and restaurants, to small businesses and national fraternities. Our attorneys are uniquely qualified to defend such cases, especially when they involve underlying criminal offenses with contemporaneous criminal proceedings, and accompanying civil rights claims.
McCormick & Priore’s experience in handling the complex field of products liability law extends back many years. In representing manufacturers and other suppliers of products, the firm brings to bear this extensive experience in navigating through the intricate, complex and often conflicting case law and statutory law governing this field in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Employing innovative and aggressive defense strategies, McCormick & Priore has successfully represented large and small manufacturers and other suppliers against multiple theories of liability in this area of the law.
Subrogation and Collections
The attorneys at McCormick & Priore are also experienced in the pursuit of both large and small subrogation and collection matters, including contractual indemnity claims and issues associated with the representation of clients in a number of areas of the law in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The area of “toxic tort” litigation encompasses a wide variety of issues, often including the complexities of “mass tort” litigation, products liability, and environmental actions. In general, this area involves claims by individuals for personal injuries and/or property damage from their use or alleged exposure to a chemical material: PCBs, fen-phen, styrene, silica, chemicals used for cleaning, chemicals used as part of a product’s formulation, waste dumps, mold, and so forth. Often, “toxic tort” actions involve claims of “latent” injuries, which are alleged to have developed years after the use of, or exposure to, the substance in question. Among the claims that are somewhat unique to “toxic tort” litigation are actions for “medical monitoring” and the potential application of a “two disease” rule. As mentioned under the Mass Tort and Complex Litigation heading, McCormick & Priore’s experience in the “toxic tort” field is extensive, ranging from claims by a single individual to claims being asserted on a
Travel Law and Litigation Involving Incidents in Foreign Countries
With international travel steadily increasing, many lawsuits are brought in the United States by individuals claiming to have been injured in a foreign jurisdiction. Simply put, vacations can be hazardous for numerous reasons. Typical causes of actions brought by vacationers, or other travelers, may include slip and fall accidents, assaults (sexual or otherwise), and accidents resulting from “extreme” activities like rock climbing, jet-skiing, etc. Issues such as sufficiency of service, jurisdiction, choice of law, determination of foreign law, choice of forum, and location of discovery and depositions, not typically at issue in standard cases, become of paramount importance. At McCormick & Priore, attorneys experienced in such matters bring their specialized knowledge to the table to properly represent the client’s best interests.
Our leading defense litigation experts can be found at the following locations:
1600 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
450 Plymouth Road
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
301 Carnegie Center Blvd.
Princeton, NJ 08540
90 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016
1000 North West St.
Wilmington, DE 19801