verdicts and settlements

Date of Verdict:

April 9.

Court and Case No.:

C.P. Montgomery No. 2007-04081.


Thomas P. Rogers.

Type of Action:

Motor vehicle.


Tendinopathy and chondromalacia of the patellae of both knees.

Plaintiffs Counsel:

Charles W. Campbell, Norristown, Pa.

Defense Counsel:

Thomas L. Delevie, Palmer & Barr, Philadelphia.

Plaintiffs Expert:

Dr. Steven J. Valentino, orthopedic surgery, King of Prussia, Pa.

Defense Expert:

Dr. Barry Snyder, orthopedic surgery, Levittown, Pa.


A Montgomery County jury awarded $1 million to a woman who suffered knee injuries in an automobile accident caused when the defendant made a left turn in front of a vehicle in which the plaintiff was a passenger.

The verdict came after the defense appealed a $30,000 arbitration award against it in 2012, according to court documents.

Plaintiff Christy Carassai alleged in her pretrial memorandum that defendant Thomas O. Gehris, who died before the suit was filed, caused the crash in Lehigh County in February 2005 when he turned left in front of the vehicle Carassai was riding in as it approached from the opposite direction.

Carassai said in her memorandum that she struck her head on the windshield and struck both of her knees on the dashboard.

An orthopedic surgeon diagnosed Carassai in April 2005 with bilateral knee patellafemoral pain and recommended physical therapy and anti-inflammation medications, according to the plaintiff’s memorandum.

Carassai received physical therapy for about two months with no improvement, the plaintiff’s memorandum said.

Eventually, in May 2007, Carassai underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee for debridement of the fat pad, according to the plaintiff’s memorandum.

The surgery did not relieve her knee pain, however, the plaintiff’s memorandum said.

In July 2010, Carassai was evaluated by Dr. Steven J. Valentino, an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed her with tendinopathy and chondromalacia of the patellae of both knees, according to the plaintiff’s memorandum.

Carassai said in her memorandum that she continues to have pain and clicking in her left knee.

The defendant—Gehris’ personal representative, Lois T. Echelmeier—argued in a pretrial memorandum that a 2008 examination by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Barry Snyder found “no objective evidence from any injury from the accident.”

In May 2012, an arbitration panel awarded $30,000 to Carassai and against Gehris’ estate.

The defense appealed the award and, in April, a jury found Gheris was negligent for Carassai’s injuries and awarded her $1 million.

Counsel for the plaintiff, Charles W. Campbell, could not be reached for comment at press time.

Counsel for the defense, Thomas L. Delevie, also could not be reached for comment.