A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury has granted a unanimous defense verdict in favor of an Elkins Park, Pa. senior care facility in a claim by the family of a deceased female resident over her care and treatment.

Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. (SGRV) attorneys Brooke C. Madonna and Stephanie V. Shreibman won the unanimous defense verdict on behalf of defendant Oak Health & Rehabilitation Center, Inc. and Oak HRC Elkins Crest, LLC d/b/a Elkins Crest Health & Rehabilitation Center.  The case was tried before the Honorable Ann M. Butchart of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

The case involved an elderly woman with medical issues including dementia who was a resident at Elkins Crest for a year and three months.  The plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that the nursing home failed to follow a doctor’s order requiring that the resident be fed all meals by the nursing staff, causing her to drastically lose a large amount of weight and putting her at risk to develop pressure ulcers.

The resident developed a Stage IV pressure wound on her sacrum while at the hospital, also a defendant, that never healed and allegedly contributed to her eventual death.  Madonna and Shreibman successfully argued a motion in limine to prevent the plaintiff from alleging death related to the care and treatment at Elkins Crest, so only the survival claim went to the jury.  The Court also allowed a charge of punitive damages to go to the jury against Elkins Crest.  Madonna and Shreibman were able to secure a unanimous defense verdict.

Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. has represented clients nationally and internationally for 45 years and provides counsel and expertise across the entire spectrum of legal practice, from complex litigation to sophisticated transactional and corporate matters.  The firm has offices in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Florida, New York and Atlanta.

The firm represents businesses, corporate boards, and highly placed individuals.  Its clients are engaged in a variety of industries including finance and banking, manufacturing, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, real estate and commercial development, insurance and venture capital, energy, financial services, health care, security and telecommunications.

The firm’s practice areas include high stakes litigation, business disputes, commercial litigation, professional liability, products liability, securities, trust and estates, fiduciary litigation, bankruptcy and creditors rights, civil RICO, trade secrets, trademark and restrictive covenants, intellectual property, antitrust, white-collar criminal defense, banking and financial services, corporate formation and governance, cyber risk and security, employment, entertainment and amusements, environment and energy, wealth management, healthcare, hospitality, insurance coverage and insured casualty litigation, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, real estate, sports and tax law.

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The first six months of 2019 have seen the NLRB reverse its recent trend of expanding its regulation of employer conduct.  In January, the NLRB issued two decisions, the first of which narrowed the definition of “protected, concerted activity” and the second of which redefined the test for determining what individuals would be considered to be “independent contractors” who are not covered by the NLRA.  Last week the NLRB reversed its own precedent to permit employers to limit a union’s access to areas of its workplace that are open to the public.

Prior to the first January decision, the NLRB would presume that any employee complaint made in a meeting was intended to contemplate group action and was, therefore, presumed to be protected concerted activity.  The NLRB’s decision eliminated this presumption, finding that an individual’s complaint could not be assumed to be group action just because it was made in the presence of other employees.  The Board set out five factors that must be considered to determine whether or not an employee’s complaint was group action, noting that all five factors need not be present to support an inference that the employee is engaging in group action.

The second January decision overturned a 2014 NLRB decision that made it harder for employers to show that an individual was an independent contractor and not an employee covered by the NLRA.  Under the 2014 standard, the NLRB merely looked at whether or not the individual was “economically dependent” on a company, without considering other common law factors it had previously considered, and making it very unlikely that the Board would conclude that an individual was an independent contractor.  With this January decision, the Board returned to its pre-2014 standard, taking into account a variety of factors including the relationship the company and the individual think they are creating and how much control the company actually has over the individual’s work.

Last week, the NLRB overturned a rule the Board created in 1981 limiting an employer’s ability to deny access to a union into areas of its workplace that are open to the public such as cafeterias or restaurants.  In 1956, the United States Supreme Court ruled in NLRB v. Babcock & Wilcox Co. that employers could deny a union access to its property to solicit employees and distribute literature unless the union could prove that it had no other reasonable way to communicate with the employees or if the employer discriminated against the union by permitting other non-employees to solicit or distribute literature on company property.  In 1981, the Board added a rule that a union could not be denied access to any area of an employer’s property that was open to the public as long as the union was not being disruptive, even if the Babcock factors were not present.

The Board overruled this longstanding “public space” rule last week, finding that a hospital did not violate the Act when it forced two union organizers to leave its cafeteria, even though that cafeteria was open to the public.  In doing so, the Board returned to the pre-1981 standard, permitting employers to exclude a union from areas of its workplace that are open to the public unless the Babcock factors were proven.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Nancy Abrams at nabrams@sgrvlaw.com or 215-241-8894

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Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. Shareholder and Director George M. Vinci, Jr. has been selected as a 2019 Professional Excellence Award winner by The Legal Intelligencer, the oldest law journal in the United States.  The Intelligencer’s panel selected Vinci as part of a group of only 10 winners across the Pennsylvania legal community in the category of Distinguished Leaders.

The category recognizes lawyers who achieved impressive results in the past year such as winning a notable case, and who demonstrate excellent leadership skills.  Joining Vinci among the 10 honorees in his category is Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

In December 2018, Vinci secured a $100 million ($100,000,000) award against international accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP for its marketing of an abusive tax shelter.  He successfully argued the case, which had 40 witnesses and more than 600 exhibits, from the trial court level to the Kentucky Supreme Court.  As one of the highest verdicts ever obtained in that state, the precedent-setting ruling, which included an $80,000,000 punitive award, sent an important message.

Vinci and other Professional Excellence Award winners will be recognized in special editorial sections of The Legal Intelligencer and at an awards dinner set for Thursday, June 27 at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.

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What does a law firm do with unused promotional items after it changes its name?

Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. (SGRV) recently added long-time member George M. Vinci, Jr. to the firm name.  As part of its rebranding, the firm recently unveiled a bold, new logo, as well as a redesigned website at sgrvlaw.com.

SGRV had many glass mugs featuring its old name.  Now, the mugs will find a new home at Saint John’s Hospice in Center City Philadelphia.  SGRV business law attorney Stanley Jaskiewicz arranged for the donation to Saint John’s.  On Tuesday, April 9,  Saint John’s Hospice Community Relations Coordinator Elizabeth M. Small accepted the donation on behalf of the organization.  Joining Jaskiewicz in the presentation from SGRV was Betty J. Spolan, Consultant to Administration; and Anthony Franklin, Clerk.

Saint John’s Hospice, “where homeless men have found dignity, respect and opportunities for new beginnings” at 1221 Race St. since 1963, had previously recently received a donation of travel mugs from the firm in 2018.

Jaskiewicz formerly served for nine years on the Board of Manna on Main Street, a food pantry and social service agency in Lansdale, in Montgomery County.

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New Jersey is one of only six states that offer certain employees paid family leave which is funded through payroll deductions.  On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that expands the benefits under the Paid Family Leave Law and Temporary Disability program in New Jersey.

First, as of June 30, 2019, the amended law expands the scope of employees eligible for family leave insurance to include employees who work for employers with 30 or more employees.  Prior to the new legislation, coverage was limited to employees of employers with 50 or more workers.

Second, the law expands the permissible reasons that an employee will be entitled to paid family leave insurance.  Under the new law, the definition of “family member” has been expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, adult children, in-laws, domestic partners, and individuals having a close relationship with the employee that is the equivalent of a family relationship.  The amended law also permits coverage to bond with a child resulting from foster care placement, surrogacy, or through a gestational carrier agreement.  In addition, coverage is also provided to victims of domestic and sexual violence and to those caring for family members who are dealing with issues related to domestic or sexual assault.

Third, paid family leave has been increased from 6 weeks to 12 weeks beginning on July 1, 2020.  Intermittent leave will also increase from 42 to 56 days.

Fourth, the requisite waiting period before entitlement to family leave insurance payments begins has been eliminated.  Starting July 1, 2020, benefits will be payable to the employee on the first day of leave.  While employees may have the option to use either paid time off before using family leave benefits, employers can no longer require that employees use all of their paid leave before the payment of benefits.

Fifth, effective July 1, 2020, the weekly benefit to employees has been increased to 85% of an individual’s weekly wage, capped at 70% of the state’s average weekly wage so that eligible employees can receive up to a maximum payout of $860 per week.  Prior to this increase, employees were only entitled to receive two-thirds of their pay up to a maximum of $650 per week. This expanded benefit also increases the amount that all eligible employees will have to pay to fund the program.

Sixth and last, effective June 30, 2019, the amended law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who request and/or take paid family leave.  The law also prohibits employers from refusing to restore the employee to his or her job on the basis that the employees requested or took family leave benefits.  Employers who fail to provide notifications and disclosures will be subject to fines up to $1000 may be imprisoned for up to 90 days.  Employers who violate the anti-retaliation provisions will be subject to fines up to $2000 for first-time violations and thereafter $5000 for each violation.  The anti-retaliation provision and fines also imply to employees eligible for paid temporary disability leave.

Companies that employ between 30 and 50 employees should prepare to implement these changes.  If you require assistance regarding compliance with the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Law or have any questions regarding these changes, please contact Jennifer Myers Chalal at jchalal@lawsgr.com or (215) 241-8817.

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Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. Chairman Paul R. Rosen has announced that Executive Committee Member George M. Vinci, Jr. has joined him as Equity Shareholder and Director of the firm.  Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, the firm has also unveiled a new name – Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. – as well as a bold, new brand (logo above) to advance its strong reputation for tenaciously pursuing successful claims and defenses on behalf of its clients.

“We’re not your typical law firm,” Rosen said. “We’ve earned a stellar reputation for taking on difficult, complex cases and have a track record of coming out with win after win on those cases.  George has been with our firm for 27 years and leads our largest divisions of the firm – Insurance Coverage & Casualty Litigation, and Professional Liability & Malpractice Litigation.  He’s a superb litigator who secures landmark verdicts with a natural ability in court that is astounding.  I felt it was important to show our future in the firm name.  And that future is with George.”

“This law firm is like my second family,” Vinci said.  “We are a highly respected team of dogged and diligent attorneys.  We maintain a high-quality practice that was built under the leadership of legal icons including Paul Rosen, a true national trailblazer of our profession.  I look forward to proudly working alongside him to continue to take a winning firm to even greater heights of success.”

In December 2018, Vinci secured a $100 million ($100,000,000) award against international accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP for its marketing of an abusive tax shelter.  He successfully argued the case, which had 40 witnesses and more than 600 exhibits, from the trial court level to the Kentucky Supreme Court.  As one of the highest verdicts ever obtained in that state, the precedent-setting ruling, which included an $80,000,000 punitive award, sent an important message.

Six months after joining the firm in 1992 as a 28-year-old associate, Vinci joined Rosen in the limelight for their work on a groundbreaking election fraud case which they won, removing William G. Stinson from the Senate without a re-election in the precedent-setting case of Marks v. Stinson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Coverage of the case aired on Court TV.

Vinci’s litigation experience involves cases throughout the United States.  He has successfully handled a wide variety of complex professional malpractice and business litigation matters on behalf of a wide variety of clients.

Vinci earned his J.D. from Temple University School of Law, cum laude, in 1988, and a B.A. from St. Joseph’s University in 1985.   He and his family reside in center city Philadelphia.

In Vinci’s early days at the firm, founder Steven Gadon predicted, “One day, this will be your firm.”  Now, with Vinci joining Rosen in an ownership position, the prophecy of the late Gadon has proved true.

In December, Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. announced a new presence in Atlanta, Ga., in addition to its offices in Philadelphia, Pa., Marlton, N.J., St. Petersburg, Fla. and New York, N.Y.

Spector Gadon Rosen Vinci P.C. represents business and commercial law clients nationally and internationally, serving entities, corporate boards and highly placed individuals engaged in multifaceted industries (including finance and banking, manufacturing, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, real estate and commercial development, insurance and venture capital) through a cadre of dedicated and highly skilled lawyers with a reputation for using unique strategies, and a proven success record with tough cases.  The firm’s practice groups include banking and financial services, bankruptcy and creditor rights, commercial litigation, corporate formation and governance, cyber risk and security, employment, entertainment and amusements, environment and energy, estates, trust and wealth management, healthcare, hospitality, insurance coverage and insured casualty litigation, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, professional liability, real estate, securities and sports, and tax law.

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Paul R. Rosen, Chairman of Spector Gadon & Rosen P.C., and Alan B. Epstein, Chair of the firm’s Employment Law Practice Group, have been selected as 2019 “Influencers of Law” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.  The Inquirer’s panel of experts selected Rosen and Epstein based on how they shaped, changed and transformed the legal industry, as well as their professional accomplishments and community involvement.

Rosen and Epstein were selected as part of only 54 honorees from thousands of Philadelphia lawyers across the region.  Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. is one of a very small group of firms to have more than one attorney selected.

Both trailblazers will be profiled in the Business Section of The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, March 24 and will be recognized at an awards luncheon to be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 11 a.m. the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.

The program will feature opening remarks by Terry Egger, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer at The Philadelphia Inquirer.  The program will also feature a fireside chat with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Josh Shapiro serves as Pennsylvania’s top legal official in spearheading efforts to combat crime, uphold individual rights and protect consumers.  He is the sixth person elected to the office and was sworn in on January 17, 2017 as the Commonwealth’s top lawyer and chief law enforcement officer with a mandate to ensure integrity.

Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. represents business and commercial law clients nationally and internationally, serving entities, corporate boards and highly placed individuals engaged in multifaceted industries (including finance and banking, manufacturing, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, real estate and commercial development, insurance and venture capital) through a cadre of dedicated and highly skilled lawyers with a reputation for using unique strategies, and a proven success record with tough cases.  The firm’s practice groups include banking and financial services, bankruptcy and creditor rights, commercial litigation, corporate formation and governance, cyber risk and security, employment, entertainment and amusements, environment and energy, estates, trust and wealth management, healthcare, hospitality, insurance coverage and insured casualty litigation, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, professional liability, real estate, securities and sports, and tax law.

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Michael J. McGirney, a Member of Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C.’s Litigation Practice Group, will discuss “Legal Ethics of Social Media and ESI” at the NBI Obtaining Evidence From Electronic Devices Seminar on April 25th, in Tampa, FL.

The Seminar features presentations by  prominent and experienced lawyers and paralegals in the country and provides information on how to gather evidence from electronic devices and get it authenticated when hiring an expert is not feasible.

McGirney will explore the ethics in social media and ESI, diving into topics such attorney E-Discovery competency, data confidentiality, spoliation and inadvertent disclosure of documents.

McGirney concentrates his practice in complex litigation with an emphasis on the defense professionals. He has been certified by the state of Florida on mediator ethics and he has served as an instructor on mediator ethics and liability throughout the state of Florida. He has served as a mediator, arbitrator, and as a consulting and testifying expert witness in insurance claim matters, bad faith matters, legal malpractice litigation and ethics issues.

Spector Gadon & Rosen, P.C. represents business and commercial law clients nationally and internationally, serving entities, corporate boards and highly placed individuals engaged in multifaceted industries (including finance and banking, manufacturing, hospitality, gaming and entertainment, real estate and commercial development, insurance and venture capital) through a cadre of dedicated and highly skilled lawyers with a reputation for using unique strategies, and a proven success record with tough cases.  The firm’s practice groups include banking and financial services, bankruptcy and creditor rights, commercial litigation, corporate formation and governance, cyber risk and security, employment, entertainment and amusements, environment and energy, estates, trust and wealth management, healthcare, hospitality, insurance coverage and insured casualty litigation, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, professional liability, real estate, securities and sports, and tax law.

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