$4 Million Verdict in Helpin v. University of Pennsylvania

Founder of Community Dental Clinic Wins Breach of Contract Case. Doctor Mark Helpin, a Philadelphia dentist who built a dental clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to provide dental services to children from low income families, has won his breach of contract case against the University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the $4 million verdict after a jury ruled that the university reneged on its contract by effectively firing Dr. Mark Helpin, DMD. He was hired by the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 as director of pediatric dentistry at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Main Line doctor was transferred and forced to resign after a new dean took over at the university 13 years later. Attorney Patricia Pierce with the Philadelphia criminal law firm Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores (GPFF), who represented Dr. Helpin along with Attorney James Funt of GPFF, said the case goes well beyond just a breach of contract. The Philadelphia employment lawyer said the firing of the Pennsylvania pediatric dentist resulted in fewer medical services available for people in the West Philadelphia community who need them the most. In a radio interview with KYW 1060 Newsradio reporter Brad Segall, Patricia Pierce noted, “The tragedy of it is that you can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again and the clinic that he founded and the whole process of the legal maneuvering and his discharge has really been destroyed. Attorney Pierce added that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling vindicated and compensated her client, but that the damage had been done and was irrevocable. Please note: Patricia Pierce handled this case while working for the law firm of Willig, Williams & Davidson. Ms. Pierce was chair of the firm’s Employment and Complex Litigation Practice. For more information on the firm you may visit their web site at www.wwdlaw.com. Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorney Patricia Pierce or Attorney James Funt, please access their profiles.