News & Publications

Pennsylvania Updates January 29, 2017

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Superior Court Applies Tincher in Recent Products Liability Case

In an opinion announced on January 13, 2017 in High v. Pennsy Supply, Inc. (No. 411 MDA 2016), a strict products liability case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant concrete supplier.  The Superior Court held that the […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 29, 2017

Case Bulletin – Superior Court of Pennsylvania Holds that Issues Relating to Privilege Are Immediately Appealable as a Collateral Order

In Farrell v. Regola, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently held that issues involving documents allegedly covered by attorney-client privilege were immediately appealable as a collateral order; communications made to clinical social workers were protected by the psychiatrist/psychologist privilege; and handwritten notes taken during civil deposition; and a prior criminal trial were protected by attorney client […]

Pennsylvania Updates December 15, 2016

Case Bulletin – Equitable tolling not available to Plaintiff for “inexcusable neglect” in failing to properly file with PHRC

In Sule v. Robert J. Echenberg M.D., et al, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that equitable tolling was not available to the plaintiff for “inexcusable neglect” in failing to timely file a claim under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.  The Plaintiff, Melissa Sule, was a medical receptionist who alleges that she was diagnosed with a […]

Pennsylvania Updates November 30, 2016

Case Bulletin – PA Superior Court Affirms Ruling Precluding Plaintiff’s Expert Witness and Entry of Non-Suit

In an opinion announced on November 8, 2016, in the matter of Nobles v. Staples, Inc. et al., No. 2939 EDA 2015, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a pre-trial motion in limine can put a party on notice for an “eleventh hour” grant of summary judgment prior to trial.   In Nobles, the plaintiff […]

Pennsylvania Updates September 30, 2016

Case Bulletin: Pennsylvania Superior Court Applies “Assault and Battery” Exclusion

On September 9, 2016, in the case of QBE Insurance Corporation (appellee) v. Jalil Walters and Rasheeda Carter, OK Café, Inc., and Donald Bowers, Sr. (appellants), No. 1797 MDA 2015 (Pa. Super. 2016), the Pennsylvania Superior Court (“the Court”) affirmed a trial court’s granting of summary judgment on behalf of an insurer under the exclusion […]

Pennsylvania Updates July 15, 2016

Case Bulletin – Federal District Court Determines that Allegations Did Not Properly Allege Claim Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

On April 7, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in Hofacker v. Wells Fargo Bank National Association __ F.Supp.3d __, 2016 WL 1383715 (E.D. Pa., April 7, 2016) held that Plaintiff failed to allege that Defendant did not act in good faith in the interactive process pursuant to the […]

Pennsylvania Updates June 16, 2016

Case Bulletin – Federal District Court Allows Motor Vehicle Accident Defendant to Introduce Plaintiff’s Drug and Alcohol use to Rebut Damages

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently held that a defendant in a motor vehicle accident case may introduce evidence of a plaintiff’s prior drug and alcohol use to rebut the plaintiff’s alleged damages. Fife v. Bailey, 2016 WL 1404202 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 11, 2016).  In Fife, the Plaintiff filed […]

Pennsylvania Updates June 9, 2016

Case Bulletin – Third Circuit Rules that Transportation of Fracking Water Does Not Exempt Employers’ from Paying Overtime Wages

In the case Mazzarella v. Fast Rig, LLC et al., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently affirmed the Middle District of Pennsylvania’s ruling that defendant trucking companies’ failure to pay overtime wages to their drivers constituted as a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Pennsylvania Minimum […]

Pennsylvania Updates May 27, 2016

Pennsylvania Legislative Update – Pennsylvania is Amending Requirements for Use of Child Seats

The Pennsylvania legislature has passed Senate Bill 1152 amending requirements for the use of child seats.   Pennsylvania law under Title 75, Section 4581 already requires children under age 4 to be secured in a child seat, but does not specify the direction they must face. Bill 1152 amends this Section, requiring children to ride […]

Pennsylvania Updates May 25, 2016

Case Bulletin – Commonwealth Court Interprets “Compensation” in Context of Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund

In its May 9, 2016 opinion in Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, No. 1849 C.D. 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania interpreted the word “compensation” in the context of the Uninsured Employers Guaranty Fund to include both medical benefits and wage loss benefits.  The Court’s ruling barred a workers’ compensation claimant […]

Pennsylvania Updates May 2, 2016

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Oil and Gas Company Pursuant to Estoppel by Deed

On March 29, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in Shedden v. Anadarko E&P, 103 MAP 2014,  in favor Defendant Anadarko.  In that case, Plaintiffs sought to invalidate Anadarko’s lease to one half of the oil and gas underlying their property on the basis that Plaintiffs did not own title to that […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 26, 2016

Case Bulletin – Federal District Court Addresses Continuing Violation Doctrine

On March 11, 2016, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted the employer-defendant’s Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss, providing further explanation of the continuing violation doctrine in employment discrimination claims.  In the case of Camplese v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, No. 15-784, 2016 WL 930728 (M.D. Pa. March 11, 2016), […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 20, 2016

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Provide Guidance on Impairment Ratings

On April 15, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted a Petition for Allowance of Appeal in the matter of Protz v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Derry Area School District)  to determine whether the Commonwealth Court, after finding that the provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) pertaining to medical evaluations and impairment ratings was […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 8, 2016

Case Bulletin – Trial Court Denies Request for Dismissal Filed by Third-Party “Texter” Who Allegedly Texted Defendant-Driver

In the case of Gallatin v. Gargiulo, et. al., Plaintiff filed a Complaint arising out a motor vehicle/motorcycle accident which resulted in the death of Daniel E. Gallatin. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant-Driver, Gargiulo, was text messaging on her cell phone at the time that the accident occurred. Plaintiff further alleges that the […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 8, 2016

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Superior Court Finds that Defendant’s Toxicologist Expert’s Testimony Regarding Intoxication was Sufficient Corroborating Evidence to Permit the Admission of BAC Results for Decedent-Plaintiff

At the center of Coughlin v. Massaquoi was the examination of the threshold in Pennsylvania by which BAC results are admissible at trial. In this case, Defendant was seeking to introduce evidence regarding the intoxication of the decedent-Plaintiff. Coughlin involved a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident which resulted in the death of Mr. Coughlin. The jury ultimately […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 30, 2016

Case Bulletin – Eastern District Grants Summary Judgment for Products Liability Defendant Based on Open and Obvious Dangers Standard

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment for SCM Group North America, providing further explanation of the new products liability standard from Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A.3d 328 (Pa. 2014). In the case of Hatcher v. SCM Group North America, Inc., […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 25, 2016

Pennsylvania Legislative Update – Expungements of Criminal Convictions

On February 16, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Thomas Wolf signed a bill amending Title 18, Section 9192 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to expand eligibility for expungements of criminal convictions.   Under the legislation, individuals with convictions for  non-violent second and third degree misdemeanors and ungraded offenses, such as trespass, vandalism, theft or drug possession, who have […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 22, 2016

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds that to determine reimbursement due to providers of medical products or services, insurers may use methods not specified in the MVFRL or regulations to calculate the “usual and customary” charge for medical products

On February 16, 2016 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that insurance providers may use methods not specifically identified in the MVFRL or regulations to calculate the “usual and customary” charge for medical products, to determine reimbursement due. Freedom Med. Supply, Inc. v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 8-EAP-2015, slip op. at p. 14 (Pa. […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 22, 2016

Case Bulletin – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Accepts Appeal to Determine Whether the Holding in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc. Applies to Failure-to-Warn claims.

On February 1, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted the Petition for Allowance of Appeal in Vinciguerra v. Bayer, 2016 WL 380955 and Amato v. Bell & Gossett, Clark-Reliance Corp, 2016 WL 381069, two separate cases that were jointly decided by the Superior Court in Amato v. Bell & Gossett, 116 A.3d 607 (Pa. Super. […]

Pennsylvania Updates December 29, 2015

Allegheny County Judge Strikes Down City of Pittsburgh Ordinances Requiring Paid Sick Days for Pittsburgh Employers and Training Requirements for Large Building Owners

Allegheny County Judge Joseph M. James recently struck down two City of Pittsburgh Ordinances that impacted businesses located within the City of Pittsburgh:  the “Paid Sick Days Act,” which was passed by City Council on August 3rd, 2015 and Signed by the Mayor on August 13, 2015, and the “Safe and Security Building Act,” which was […]

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