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Todd Drayton is a civil trial attorney with Martin, Kane, Kuper whose litigation expertise crosses multiple practice areas. Mr. Drayton primarily represents victims in personal injury matters, which include medical malpractice, automobile accident, fall down and product liability cases. Mr. Drayton also presently manages the firm’s mass torts litigation department, which includes almost 70 clients with defective hip claims against Stryker Corporation and numerous other clients with claims against the manufacturers of Levaquin, a pharmaceutical drug linked to various tendon ruptures in the body.
In February of this year, Mr. Drayton obtained a $125,000.00 settlement on behalf of Danielle Fitzhenry in a lawsuit brought against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company under the terms of Mrs. Fitzhenry’s uninsured motorist policy. (See Fitzhenry v. Liberty Mutual) The insurance carrier sought to defend the matter on the grounds that Mrs. Fitzhenry’s injuries were not permanent and that, even if she did suffer a permanent injury, same was caused not by the subject accident, but a subsequent,intervening motor vehicle accident. To that end, Liberty Mutual offered Mrs. Fitzhenry $1,000.00 to settle the matter prior to trial. However, after the first week of trial and prior to the close of Mrs. Fitzhenry’s case, Liberty Mutual offered $125,000.00 to resolve the dispute.
In addition, last September, Mr. Drayton obtained a $350,000.00 settlement on behalf of the Estate of Trese Ann Singelyn, who died
within days of being prescribed a strong anticoagulant known as Lovenox. (See Singelyn v. lorio) Mr. Drayton prosecuted the matter against the late Ms. Singelyn’s pulmonologist, who was responsible for monitoring the medication but who failed to obtain urgent diagnostic studies needed to justify long-term use of the full therapeutic anticoagulation therapy with this drug. Although the case was tried to verdict, the parties reached the aforementioned compromise only seconds before the verdict was returned following three days of deliberation.
In April 2010, Mr. Drayton appeared before the Appellate Division and successfully argued the matter of Ruben Betancourt v. Trinitas Hospital, a high profile case involving controversial end-of-life issues, which include a patient’s constitutional right to direct his or her own healthcare. At issue in Betancourt was whether or not Trinitas Hospital, over objection of the Betancourt family, could unilaterally terminate life-sustaining medical care to Reuben Betancourt based upon its own internal opinion that continued treatment was “medically futile.” In August, the Appellate Division rendered a published opinion agreeing with Mr. Drayton and several amicus curae appearing on behalf of the Betancourt family, and dismissing Trinitas Hospital’s appeal. By declaring moot all issues raised by the hospital, the Appellate Division let stand the lower court ruling that denied Trinitas Hospital from unilaterally terminating Mr. Betancourt’s life-sustaining medical care.
According to elder law and estate attorney, Donald Vanarelli, Betancourt was one of the most requested judicial opinions in 2009. (See e.g., http://medicalfutility.blogspot.com/2009/11/betancourt-v-trinitas-most-requested-nj.html. For excerpts of the oral argument, see the below articles.
For further reaction to the decision, see the below articles.
Last year, Mr. Drayton filed suit in another high profile case highlighting the hate crime in New Jersey which has notoriously come to be known as “poppy hunting.” In Estate of Tista v. Glaspar, et. als., Mr. Drayton represents the family of the late Lazaro Tista, an undocumented Hispanic father of eight, who was robbed and savagely beaten to death in 2007 in Plainfield. This case marks the first time the State’s Attorney in Union County has ever prosecuted anyone under New Jersey’s bias crime statute. (See e.g.,
In October 2010, Mr. Drayton was interviewed on camera by James Dolan of ABC’s Eyewitness News in connection with the reported suicide of Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi. Mr. Clementi’s suicide garnered national headlines last September when the freshman reportedly jumped from the George Washington Bridge to his death after a sexual encounter with him and another man was secretly broadcast over the internet. At the time, ABC News was investigating whether or not bias or hate crime charges could be brought against the individuals accused of secretly making the broadcast.
Among some of his other recent accomplishments, Mr. Drayton won unanimous verdicts of $250,000 and $168,000 in Middlesex County Superior Court in motor vehicle accident cases where his clients claimed permanent injuries arising solely from disc bulges, herniations or muscle spasm. Mr. Drayton also won a similar verdict for another of his clients in Somerset County Superior Court under largely the same facts. In all cases, the defendants unsuccessfully asserted defenses under New Jersey’s verbal threshold law.
Prior to joining Martin Kane Kuper Mr. Drayton practiced in the areas of product liability, pharmaceutical injury and asbestos litigation with the law firm of Seeger Weiss LLP of New York for nearly a decade.
Mr. Drayton received his Juris Doctor degree from the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While in law school, he received several distinctions, including the highest honors for legal writing and research. Prior to law school, Mr. Drayton graduated from Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. As an undergraduate, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Political Science and English, and was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, National English Honor Society. There, too, Mr. Drayton distinguished himself receiving numerous academic honors, most notably “Collegiate Scholastic All-American Scholar” and “Distinguished African-American Student.”
Mr. Drayton is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Areas of Practice:
- Personal Injury
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Mass Torts
- Class Actions
- Municipal Matters
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- New Jersey, 1997
- Pennsylvania, 1998
- Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
Juris Doctor, 1997
Honors: Best Paper of Semester, 1995
Honors: Distinguished Class Performance, 1994
Honors: Dean’s Honor List, 1996, 1997
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA, 1994
Honors: Dean’s Honor List, 1992
Honors: Collegiate Scholastic All-American Scholar, 1994
Honors: Distinguished African-American Student, 1994
Honors: National English Honor Society, 1994
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, 1998 – Present
- New Jersey State Bar Association, 1997 – Present
- Middlesex County Bar Association
Past Employment Positions
- Seeger Weiss LLP, Associate, 2000 – 2008
Pro Bono Activities
- The Love of Jesus Family Church, 1999 – Present
- Omega Psi Phi