Erica A. Sabatini

Erica A. Sabatini

Erica A. Sabatini joined Willman & Silvaggio in 2013. Since then, her focus has been on civil defense litigation and the area of toxic torts. Ms. Sabatini earned her Juris Doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law in 2013. She was an active member of Duquesne’s Trial Advocacy team and was deemed an Outstanding Advocate for the First Year Appellate Argument Exercise. In her second year, Ms. Sabatini led her team to victory and her team was named regional champion of the American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition. In the fall of that year, her team placed second at the National Civil Trial Competition.

During her time at Duquesne University, Ms. Sabatini received numerous awards including the Katie Elisabeth Westbrook, the Shalom Moot Court Award, and the Lynette Norton Memorial Award. Most notably she was chosen for membership in The Order of the Barristers — an honorary society that recognizes excellence in trial advocacy. She has previously served as a coach for the Duquesne University School of Law National Trial Advocacy Team and annually serves as a judge for mock trial competitions.

Prior to attending the Duquesne University School of Law, Ms. Sabatini graduated with honors in 2010 from Allegheny College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and minored in French. As a result, she is fluent in the language.

Ms. Sabatini is admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 2013. She was subsequently admitted to the West Virginia Bar and the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in 2014. She is an active member of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Division.

In addition, Ms. Sabatini had the honor of being a selected as a member of 20th Anniversary Class of Fifty Finest for the Western Pennsylvania Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She personally raised over $10,000 for research and funds to assist families with children impacted by Cystic Fibrosis. In her free time, Ms. Sabatini is an active member of her church as a lector and serves on the CORE team of her church’s youth group. She is also an avid obstacle course racer.
Admitted to:
  • Pennsylvania 
  • West Virginia 
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia 
One Corporate Center, 5500 Corporate Drive, Suite 150 Pittsburgh, PA 15237 l Phone: (412) 366-3333
One Corporate Center, 5500 Corporate Drive, Suite 150 Pittsburgh, PA 15237 l Phone: (412) 366-3333
© Copyright 2016.  All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 2016.  All Rights Reserved

Favorable Ruling Obtained by Willman & Silvaggio, LLP, Awarding Client Summary Judgment Based Upon the Expiration of the Statute of Limitations  

On May 27, 2010, the PA Superior Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Common Pleas granting the defendant Mozart Management’s motion for summary judgment regarding Daniel Torisky’s personal injury claim.  Mr. Torisky’s claims for personal injuries and loss of consortium arose as a result of his fall allegedly caused by black ice in a parking lot operated by Mozart Mgmt.
In his complaint, Mr. Torisky claimed that the accident occurred on March 4, 2006. His complaint was filed on February 21, 2008. Discovery, however, revealed that the incident occurred on February 18, 2006.  Because the plaintiff had commenced litigation three days after the two-year statute of limitations period had expired pursuant to 42 Pa C.S.A. § 5524(7), the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment requesting the Court to dismiss the entire case based on the statute of limitations.
On June 26, 2009, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County granted Mozart Mgmt’s motion for summary judgment with prejudice, since Mr. Torisky had a duty to diligently investigate the facts surrounding his claims and failed to do so in a timely manner. The Court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the defendant fraudulently concealed the date of the accident.
In his appeal to the PA Superior Court, Mr. Torisky argued that the Court should adopt the more flexible approach espoused in McCreesh v. City of Philadelphia, which permitted a plaintiff’s personal injury case to continue even after the statute of limitations had run. However, the Court distinguished McCreesh as a case that protects plaintiffs only in situations where the defendant had actual notice of the commencement of litigation but failed to technically receive proper service within the statute of limitations period.  In the instant case, Mr. Torisky did not even initiate a cause of action until after the statute of limitations had already run so that Mozart Mgmt had no prior notice of the lawsuit.
In addition, the Superior Court rejected Mr. Torisky’s fraudulent concealment argument by relying on the generally accepted principle enumerated in Pocono Int’l Raceway v. Pocono Produce: “The statute of limitations begins to run as soon as the right to institute and maintain a suit arises; lack of knowledge, mistake or understanding do not toll the running of the statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations standard advances the public policy concern with expediting litigation and discouraging delay in the presentation of valid claims, so that the search for the truth remains uninhibited by “stale claims due to the passage of time and the dimming of memories.”    
 Therefore, because McCreesh was inapposite to the circumstances underlying the present case, and Mr. Torisky failed to allege anything more than mistake, lack of knowledge, or misunderstanding, there were no remaining genuine issues of material fact so that the award of summary judgment was proper in favor of the defendant Mozart Management.