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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

Insurer must pay $13.6M after Moses Taylor death

THE TIMES-TRIBUNE - SCRANTON, PA

By Erin L. Nissley

Attorneys, victim's family to split the settlement.

A supplemental insurer who reneged on a 2007 settlement in a wrongful death suit must now pay the victim's family $13.6 million.

The award is the result of a protracted legal battle over the 2002 death of 44-year-old Donna M. Kapacs. The Archbald woman's family filed suit against Moses Taylor Hospital and others after she died at the hospital three days after undergoing cardiac catheterization, a procedure used to test the heart's ability to pump blood.

Mrs. Kapacs bled to death after her femoral artery was perforated during the procedure, and doctors and hospital staff should have recognized and responded to the bleeding, the lawsuit claimed. Attorney Joseph A. Quinn Jr., who represented the family, said a settlement of $4.5 million was reached with Moses Taylor Hospital in January 2007. But the hospital's excess insurance carrier, Lexington Insurance Co., declined to cover the settlement.

Excess insurance is used to supplement primary insurance, although the excess provider usually reserves the right to become involved with claims.

"Based on my conversations with (the hospital's attorneys), I thought that something didn't sound right," Mr. Quinn said. "At the time, Moses Taylor Hospital was in a perilous financial situation. We decided to defer collection of settlement from them."

Instead, Mr. Quinn was given permission to represent Moses Taylor in an existing lawsuit against Lexington Insurance Co. and other insurance brokers affiliated with it, claiming breach of contract, negligence and bad faith.

The case was scheduled to go to trial in front of Judge Carmen Minora in March, but was put on hold while the settlement was reached. It was approved by Judge Minora last month.

"You don't see this kind of situation every day," Mr. Quinn said. "Moses Taylor recognized this was a valid claim, and they had paid the premium for the insurance coverage."

Lexington Insurance will pay a total of $5.44 million to HKQ Law and Lenahan & Dempsey, the two law firms handling the cases. The remainder of the $13.6 million settlement will go to Mrs. Kapacs' husband, John K. Kapacs, and her four children: Dawn Schuster, Tracy Kapacs, Ann Marie Kapacs and John Kapacs, Jr.

PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at www.HKQLaw.com or by calling (800) 760-1529.

				

 

As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.


These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.

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