West Virginia Record

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Zavolta Law Office seeks dismissal of clients' breach of contract allegations over auto accident suit

State Court

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 9, 2020

WHEELING – Zavolta Law Office has denied allegations that it breached its contract with two clients by failing to properly file their auto accident injury lawsuit in a timely manner.

The law firm denied that it caused or contributed to the late filing of the complaint in a Pennsylvania court.

The firm claims that the plaintiffs' claims are barred by lack of causation of damages and by the plaintiffs' failure to mitigate damages and/or a failure to meet the required threshold of damages and/or other limitations, and is seeking an order dismissing all claims.

Tennieal Norman Porter and Tiffany Beaver filed the lawsuit against Zavolta Law Office, Ronald W. Zavolta and Jordan M. Laird alleging that Zavolta and Laird failed to timely file their lawsuit involving a car accident. The lawsuit was later dismissed due to being filed after the applicable statute of limitations had run out.

Porter and Beaver were in a car accident on May 12, 2015, that occurred on Interstate 79 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. They retained Zavolta Law Office as counsel to pursue their claims for damages.

The lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, but the defendant in the case filed a motion for summary judgment upon the grounds that the case wasn't timely filed within the applicable statute of limitations. 

The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment on Oct. 18, 2018, and dismissed the complaint, stating that it was untimely.

"An appeal of the trial court's decision was taken to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and in an opinion entered June 6, 2019, the decision of the trial court to dismiss plaintiffs' claims was affirmed," the complaint states.

The plaintiffs also sought an application for re-argument of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania's decision, but that was also denied and became final on Sept. 13, when the period for appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania expired. The plaintiffs then filed this complaint.

The plaintiffs claim the attorneys and the firm breached their contract with them and were negligent in failing to properly commence and/or perfect the appropriate action in Pennsylvania to preserve the plaintiffs' claims.

As a result of the defendants' actions, the plaintiffs allege they suffered the loss of their claims for injuries sustained in the car accident. They also suffered mental anguish and humiliation, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking judgment against the defendants with interest. They are represented by Patrick S. Casey and Sandra M. Chapman of Casey & Chapman in Wheeling.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 19-C-292

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