News & Publications

West Virginia Updates February 26, 2015

West Virginia Senate Introduces Bill Regarding Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims

In West Virginia, Senate Bill 411, known as “Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act and Asbestos and Silica Claims Priorities Act” was recently introduced, and is currently in the Senate Judiciary for debate.  The Bill deals with bankruptcy trust claims and other aspects of asbestos litigation in West Virginia.  The portion of the Bill relating […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 23, 2015

Case Bulletin – Federal District Court Considers Effect of an Insured’s Poor English Skills on Claims for Insurance Breach of Contract and Bad Faith

On February 10, 2015 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania released a new opinion examining aspects of Pennsylvania’s insurance law including breach of contract, bad faith, and insurance fraud. Henriquez-Disla v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. CIV.A. 13-284, 2015 WL 539550 (E.D. Pa. 2015). In Henriquez-Disla, the Plaintiffs […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 23, 2015

Case Bulletin – Federal District Court Grants Insurance Company’s Request for Reimbursement of Settlement Monies Paid Following Determination That There Was No Duty to Defend the Client

On February 6, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted American Western Home Insurance Company’s (“American Western”) Motion for Summary Judgment asking for reimbursement of monies which it paid towards the settlement of the underlying lawsuit on behalf of its insured, Donnelly Distribution (“Donnelly”).  Am. W. Home Ins. Co. […]

West Virginia Updates February 16, 2015

West Virginia Legislature Looks to Reinstate the “Open and Obvious” Doctrine

In 2013, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals abolished the doctrine of “open and obvious” in the case of Hersh v. E-T Enterprises, Ltd. Partnership, 232 W.Va. 305 (2013). Less than two years later, on February 4, 2015, the Senate introduced Senate Bill 13 which would reinstate what Hersh had removed from West Virginia […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 13, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Federal District Court Creates Clarification in Pennsylvania’s Quiet Title Procedure

Given the history of oil and gas production in Pennsylvania, quiet title actions are sometimes necessary to clear the title on the mineral estates underlying properties before production can commence. This past year, the Middle District of Pennsylvania clarified the requirements a plaintiff must satisfy to maintain a quiet title action for a mineral estate […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 8, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court lets Superior Court Decision Stand Applying the Statute of Repose to an Asbestos Action.

On February 4, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court at No. 476 EAL 2014 denied a Petition for Allowance of Appeal in the matter of Graver v. Foster Wheeler Corporation (“Foster Wheeler”), a case involving an asbestos-related injury allegedly caused by an improvement to real property and in which Foster Wheeler raised the statute of repose […]

West Virginia Updates February 8, 2015

Case Bulletin – Fourth Circuit Renders Decision Placing the Issue of Whether an Employee has Objectively Suffered Severe or Pervasive Harassment with the Jury

On December 23, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rendered a decision that placed the issue of whether an employee has subjectively and objectively suffered harassment in her workplace to satisfy the requirements under Title VII, with the jury and not with a judge deciding a motion for summary judgment. […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 2, 2015

Case Bulletin – Plaintiffs’ Claims Continue to be Denied in Landmark Drilling Tort Case

Pennsylvania federal judge, John E. Jones, III, granted in part a motion  for summary judgment in the case Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Civil No. 3:09-cv-2284, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which  limited plaintiffs’ claims in a suit over allegations of oil and gas drilling leading  to the contamination […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 2, 2015

Pennsylvania Revised Power of Attorney Requirements Take Effect

Pennsylvania recently enacted sweeping new changes to the laws governing Powers of Attorney used for financial and property transactions in Pennsylvania.  Act of July 2, 2014, Pub.L. 855, No. 95 (“Act 95”) amends Chapter 56 of the Pennsylvania Estates and Fiduciaries Code, 20 Pa.C.S. §§ 5601-5612, and applies to these types of Powers of Attorney […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 2, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules That Lay Witness Co-worker Affidavit is Insufficient to Establish Asbestos Content

In Krauss v. Trane U.S., Inc., the plaintiff-decedent developed an asbestos related disease as a result of his employment as a bricklayer at various facilities.  The trial court granted summary judgment on behalf of some defendants which resulted in an appeal.  The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court and held that an affidavit of […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 2, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects Multiple Trigger Theory of Liability Insurance Coverage

On December 15, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its ruling in Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company v. St. John and declined to apply the multiple trigger theory of liability insurance coverage, which would have applied coverage from all four of Pennsylvania National’s policies to the St. Johns’ claims. In this case, the St. […]