CIVIL VERDICTS - PREMISES LIABILITY * Estate of Joan DeMarco v. The Marquis - Decedent business tenant of apartment/office complex owner murdered by former employee of defendant in violent assault during office burglary. Plaintiff's estate alleged negligent security theory of liability against defendant. Settlement negotiated with responsible insurance company in excess of One Million Two Hundred Thousand ($1,200,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Khaled Bakar v. Home Properties, Inc. - Plaintiff was standing on third floor balcony of friend's apartment owned by defendant, when the floor suddenly collapsed causing plaintiff to fall to ground. Plaintiff sustained fractured ribs, non-displaced tibia fracture and herniated disc, which was treated with physical therapy and multiple epidural injections. Montgomery County jury returned a verdict in the amount of Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine Thousand ($769,000.00) Dollars. Plaintiff filed Motion for Delay Damages which was granted and case was settled for Nine Hundred Thousand ($900,000.00) Dollars. * CIVIL VERDICTS - AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS * Riccardo v. Kim - Plaintiff sustained fractured cervical vertebrae at C5-6 level which required two surgeries and metal screws, arising from a two vehicle automobile accident. Out-of-court settlement negotiated with responsible insurance carriers in amount of Four Hundred Thousand ($400,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Estate of Robert Kane v. Joseph Falco - Decedent killed while passenger in one-car accident where intoxicated driver lost control of vehicle. Wrongful death claim settlement negotiated with responsible insurance company in the amount of Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand ($660,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Vinnie Moss v. Baldi Transportation/Erie Insurance Company - Plaintiff awarded Two Hundred Thirty Five Thousand ($235,000.00) Dollars by jury after trial. Defendant trucking company bankrupt and uninsured. Uninsured motorist claim settlement negotiated with plaintiff's insurance company in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand ($200,00.00) Dollars. * CIVIL VERDICTS - LIQUOR LIABILITY * Gerald & Irene Kane v. Dublin Wine and Spirits and Commonwealth of PA - Plaintiff husband and wife sustained multiple injuries in head-on collision with drunk driver. Husband-plaintiff sustained head injury resulting in brain hemorrhage and coma, with substantial recovery. Wife-plaintiff sustained broken ankle. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendants prior to trial. Husband's claim - Two Hundred Forty Thousand ($240,000.00) Dollars. Wife's claim - Ninety Thousand ($90,000.00) Dollars. (Bucks County)* Edward Pisarek v. Adriatric Club - Plaintiff police officer assaulted while on duty by intoxicated bar patron skilled in martial arts. Plaintiff sustained permanent partial hearing loss and multiple lacerations. Non-jury trial verdict in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in amount of One Hundred Fifty Thousand ($150,000.00) Dollars. (Philadelphia County) CIVIL VERDICTS - PRODUCT LIABILITY* Keith Rosenberger v. Galoob Toys, Inc. - Plaintiff sustained temporary partial loss of vision in one eye with increased risk of future glaucoma, when struck in eye by defendants' children's toy, while plaintiff demonstrated newly purchased toy for child. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendants in the amount of One Hundred Fifty Thousand ($150,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. (Montgomery County)* Raymond Cost v. Caterpillar, Inc. - Plaintiff sustained partial amputation of his lower leg, when his foot was crushed in an unguarded pinchpoint of rotating couplings inside engine area, while plaintiff was performing maintenance of defendant's heavy trash compactor/metal shearer. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendant in the amount of Four Hundred Seventy Five Thousand ($475,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. (Montgomery County)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Amended Sex Offender Registry Law


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Commonwealth v. LaCombe, 35 MAP 2018. The case is being considered by Pennsylvania’s high court after the Commonwealth appealed our stunning victory in which Judge William R. Carpenter of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas granted our Motion to Terminate Petitioner’s Lifetime Sexual Offense Registration and Notification Requirements under the 2018 amended version of Pennsylvania’s sex offender registry law (Act 10 and 29 of 2018).

Fifteen Year Registration Under Megan’s Law I

Our client had been found guilty in 1997, by a Montgomery County jury of Involuntary Deviate Sexual Assault and related offenses. He received a sentence of seven to twenty years imprisonment. At the time of his sentencing, Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law I was in effect. Under Megan’s Law I, all offenders convicted of certain sex offenses were presumed to be a sexually violent predators (SVP) required to register for their lifetime. A person could only avoid being classified as a sexually violent predator if he presented evidence at sentencing to establish that he was not a SVP. Our client did just that at his sentencing in 1998, and as a result was determined not to be a SVP.

Nonetheless, our client was still was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten (10) years following his release from prison, which was the required registration period under Megan’s Law I.

Lifetime Registration Retroactively Imposed by Acts 10 and 29 of 2018

Lacombe’s ten (10) year registration requirement was subsequently changed to lifetime registration through multiple amendments to Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law. The most recent amendments were through Acts 10 and 29 of 2018, which created a separate subchapter (Subchapter I) that applies exclusively to offenders whose offenses occurred before 2012. Under Subchapter I, our client is required to register for the rest of his life, despite the fact that he previously established that he is not an SVP and was required to register for only ten (10) years at the time of his sentencing.

To be clear: the increase in our client’s registration requirement from the ten (10) years imposed at the time of his sentencing to the lifetime requirement under the current legislation was through no subsequent act or failure of our client. It was the product of legislature fiat. Our client has been arrest-free for over twenty years and has maintained steady and gainful employment during that time.

Constitutional Challenges to Acts 10 and 29

Pennsylvania Megan’s Law, through its numerous iterations, has given rise to many constitutional challenges. The most recent amendments in Acts 10 and 29 of 2018 were enacted by the Pennsylvania legislature in an attempt to respond to the case of Commonwealth v. Muniz, 164 A.3d 1189 (Pa. 2017) in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that the retroactive application of the more stringent registration requirements of SORNA violated the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution.

The Commonwealth’s appeal of Judge Carpenter’s decision in the Lacombe case was one of three cases challenging the amended version of SORNA that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard. In our client’s case, we argued that the Judge Carpenter appropriately concluded, in his well-reasoned opinion, that the newest version of the legislation fails to address, in any meaningful way, the issues which caused the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to declare the prior version of SORNA unconstitutional in Muniz.

It is expected that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will render its anxiously awaited decisions on the sex offender cases, including LaCombe, within the first half of 2020.

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