Accident and Injury Litigation

 

Pittsburgh, PA Civil Trial Expert
Craig L. Fishman, Esquire

Experience:

Shenderovich, Shenderovich and Fishman, P.C., Pittsburgh, PA
President, chief of litigation and shareholder, 2006–present.
Civil litigation practice, including:
 
  • Automobile, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents
  • Medical, legal, and nursing home malpractice
  • Serious injuries caused by tractor trailers and drunk drivers
  • Injuries resulting from use of defective products
 
  • Insurance bad faith
  • Wrongful death
  • Dog bites
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
 
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
Biochemistry Department Research Assistant. Cloned rat kidney proximal tubule cells in hormone research project.

Education:
 
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA.
Juris Doctor, May 1990
 
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.
Medical Studies, 1983-1986.
 
Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.
Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), 1988.

Major in Health Care Administration.
 
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Bachelor of Arts, 1982. Began college at the age of 15, and graduated at the age of 19 on the Dean's List of this Ivy League University.
 
Awards & Activities
  • Senior Hearing Committee Member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on a pro bono basis.
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2008-present.
  • Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell (highest possible rating for legal skill and ethics), 2006-present.
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, 2005–present.
  • Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
  • Chair of Allegheny County Bar Association Civil Litigation Section Council, 2016-2017.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Proliance Solutions, Inc., 2008-2014.
  • Fellow of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, 2005–present.
  • Chair of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County Mock Trial Committee.
  • Chair of the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County Schweers Essay Contest Committee.
  • Marquis Who's Who in American Law 2003–present.
  • Marquis Who's Who in America 2005-present.
  • Recipient of Allegheny County Bar Association 2004 Judge Olbum Award.
  • Chair of the 2004 Allegheny County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference.
  • Member of Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates, 2006–2008.
  • Western Pa. Trial Lawyers Assoc. Board of Governors.

Licenses

Admitted to practice in
  • Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
  • The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • The United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
  • The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Fourth Circuit
Presentations and Published Articles

“Litigating Tractor Trailer Accidents” seminar faculty speaking on Discovery, ESI, Trial Tactics, Ethical Considerations and Satellite Tracking and Messaging, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 2, 2011.

“Civil Division Sound-Off and Debate on Hot Topics in the Law” – Established debate format for seminar and prepared and moderated seminar in 2010 with panelists including Hon. Eugene B. Strassburger, III of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County and Hon. Sean McLaughlin of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Prepared and moderated 2011 seminar for panelists including Hon. Ronald W. Folino of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County and Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Established annual "Breakfast with the Judges - Legal Ethics on Film" ethics seminar at the Allegheny County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference in 2002.

Chair or Co-Chair of Breakfast with the Judges Committee and prepared film clips and legal analysis for the judges for this seminar 2002-2006. Moderated 2002 and 2006 seminars. Panelists have included Hon. Ralph Cappy, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; Hon. Max Baer and Hon. J. Michael Eakin of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania; Hon. D. Brooks Smith and Hon. D. Michael Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; Hon. John Musmanno, Hon. Debra Todd, and Hon. Maureen Lally-Green of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania; Hon. Joy Flowers Conti and Hon. Thomas Hardiman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania; and Hon. R. Stanton Wettick, Jr., Hon. Timothy Patrick O'Reilly, Hon. Gene B. Strassburger, III and Hon. Joseph James of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

“Civil Rights Litigation Under §1981 and the Fair Housing Act”, 18(3) The Advocate, Spring 2006.

"Lessons from Tinseltown" trial tactics seminar panelist, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, February 24, 2006.

"Legal Issues in Toxic Mold Exposure and Remediation", Indoor Air Quality Training Institute, April 17, 2002

"Is it Malpractice Not to Surf?" 12(5) The Advocate, May/June 2000.

"Beware the Subrogation Swindle," 9(5) The Advocate, May/June 1997.

"Evaluating Your Case - Plaintiff's Perspective," presented to the Young Lawyers Section of the Allegheny County Bar Association, December 15, 1995.

"Pleading and Proving Excess Special Damages," 8(2) The Advocate, Nov/Dec 1995.

Co-Author: "A Hospital's Liability for Staffing its Emergency Room with an Intern," a chapter in Legal Medicine 1990, Fall 1990.

"Hospitals and Cigarette Smoking," 75 Bulletin of the Allegheny County Medical Society, 1986.
 
Reported Cases

  • Collingwood v. Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company et al., Washington County 2010-2186, $3.3 million jury verdict on September 18, 2012. Consol owns an expensive piece of mining equipment called a coal shearer. Mr. Collingwood was driving his pick-up truck southbound on Route 221 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Route 221 is a two-lane road, with one lane in each direction. A tractor trailer carrying Consol's coal shearer was being driven northbound on Route 221. As the two vehicles passed each other, a 123-pound metal cylinder, which is a part of the shearer, fell from the equipment, crashed through the windshield of Mr. Collingwood's truck, and decapitated him. Mr. Collingwood did not do anything to contribute to the accident. Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company is a subsidiary of Consol Energy, Inc., the company which has paid for the naming rights to the hockey arena in Pittsburgh. Throughout the trial, Consol maintained that after it loaded its shearer on the trailer, “it's not their problem anymore”. Consol argued that it was not negligent for failing to require the coal shearer to be covered with a tarp while traveling on the roads in Washington and Allegheny counties and that it did not have to inspect the equipment for loose objects before it left the mine premises. At trial, skillful and vigorous cross-examination forced Consol's mining expert to concede that Consol failed to take numerous safety precautions which would have prevented the death of Mr. Collingwood. This is the largest verdict in a motor vehicle related death case in the history of Washington County. Consol never made an offer of settlement prior to trial.

  • Lynn v. Westport Insurance Corp., 258 Fed. Appx. 438, 2007 WL 4351428 (3d Cir. 2007). Established new case law that the operator of a commercial vehicle is occupying the vehicle and entitled to recover Underinsured Motorist benefits when outside the vehicle, performing duties necessary to use it.

  • Schappell v. Motorists Mutual Ins. Co., et al., 934 A.2d 1184 (Pa. 2007). Established new case law in Pennsylvania that a health care provider can sue an automobile insurance company for benefits owed and accrued interest due to untimely payment of benefits for an insured, as well as reasonable attorney fees if the insurer acted in an unreasonable manner in failing to pay benefits when due.

  • Hussein v. Universal Development Management, et al., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania CA 01-2381, $2.45 million jury verdict on September 23, 2005. Dr. Hussein is an Egyptian-born physician who resided in an apartment complex in New Castle, PA. On September 11, 2001 the apartment complex manager called the FBI and falsely claimed that the doctor was a terrorist. The following day, he was portrayed as a terrorist in newspapers across the United States. The FBI detained Dr. Hussein, seized all of his personal possessions, and investigated the claim in a professional and unbiased manner. Dr. Hussein was exonerated after harrowing, life-changing experiences. Suit was filed against the apartment complex and its manager (but not the FBI) resulting in a verdict for false light invasion of privacy consisting of $850,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages. This is the largest sustained verdict in federal court in Pittsburgh for a case involving civil rights violations.

  • Horne v. City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County G.D. 97-10174, $300,925 jury verdict on September 29, 1999. Plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries when a Pittsburgh police car ran a red light, side-swiped another vehicle and crashed into the front of Plaintiff's automobile which was at a complete stop. The police blamed another driver for causing the wreck by ignoring its siren, but the evidence at trial proved that the siren was in fact not being used. This is the largest verdict in Allegheny County for a soft tissue injury case.

  • Marek v. Ketyer, 733 A.2d 1268 (Pa. Super. 1999), alloc. denied, 749 A.2d 471 (Pa. 2000). Established new Pennsylvania case law regarding physician-patient confidentiality, prohibiting defense counsel in a case from contacting and retaining a plaintiff's prior treating physician as an expert, unless the plaintiff provides consent.