News & Publications

Pennsylvania Updates June 24, 2021

PA Update – Recent Third Circuit Ruling in Dunleavy Distinguishes Gallagher: Certain Household Vehicle Exclusions Are Still Enforceable

On March 18, 2021, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the May 19, 2020 order of the United States District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania in Dunleavy, et al. v. Mid-Century Ins. Co., 2020 WL 2536816 (W.D. Pa. May 19, 2020). In doing so, these Federal Courts distinguished the Pennsylvania Supreme Court […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 22, 2021


During the week of March 15, 2021, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed several bills reforming and amending various aspects of criminal law and evidentiary rules.  These bills include: HB 103 – This bill would create the offense of harassment of a law enforcement officer if a person intentionally causes or attempts to cause a […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 10, 2021

Case Bulletin – 1 S.A.N.T. Inc. vs. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. and National Fire & Marine Insurance Co.

On January 15, 2021, U.S. District Judge William S. Stickman IV dismissed a Pennsylvania restaurant’s proposed class action seeking coverage from its insurance company for losses due to the coronavirus. The court found that establishments that were limited to carry-out service during the pandemic had not sustained the “direct, physical loss” that is necessary to trigger their […]

Pennsylvania Updates August 13, 2020

Covid-19 Update – Restaurants, Breweries, Wineries, and other Licensed Premises Permitted to Temporarily Add Outdoor Serving Areas Due to Covid-19

For all Pennsylvania licensed alcohol establishments, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has temporarily waived both the application fee and the 30-day waiting period typically required to extend a licensed premises outdoors. A few key notes for an establishment seeking to obtain an outdoor extension of premises include:  The establishment must submit a plan for […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 6, 2020

Covid-19 Update -The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s April 1, 2020 Order

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its Second Supplemental Order regarding the Judicial Emergency caused by Covid-19. Most significantly, all Pennsylvania courts are to remain closed to the public (except for essential services) through April 30, 2020. President Judges of each court of common pleas are authorized to extend this closure […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 24, 2020

Case Bulletin – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds that Insurance Policy Provision Requiring IME is Void

Most automobile insurance policies include a provision that requires an insured who is seeking first party benefits to submit to an independent medical examination, (IME).  In a recent opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that those medical examination policy provisions conflict with Section 1796(a) of Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, (MVFRL), which includes […]

Pennsylvania Updates December 17, 2019

Case Bulletin – Safe Auto Ins. v. Oriental – Guillermo (214 A.3d 1257 (Pa. 2019)

In the August, 2019 decision of Safe Auto Insurance Company v. Oriental-Guillermo, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that an unlisted resident driver exclusion (URDE) in an automobile insurance policy was enforceable against the policyholder’s live-in girlfriend. Therefore, the court found that the automobile insurance carrier was not obligated to provide insurance coverage to the […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 23, 2019

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Publishes Opinion Regarding Discovery Rule and Statute of Limitations

On October 17, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court published an opinion that requires determinations regarding the applicability of the discovery rule to toll a statute of limitations to be put to a jury.  In Nicolaou v. Martin, et al., No. 44 MAP 2017, 2018 WL 5019804 (Pa. October 17, 2018), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 17, 2019

Case Bulletin – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Examines Definition of “Occurrence” Contained in Homeowners Policy for Actions Constituting Criminal Assault

In September of 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania addressed the issue of whether an insurer’s actions constituting criminal assault could be considered an “occurrence” under a homeowner’s insurance policy affording coverage and indemnity. The declaratory judgment action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania stemmed from an underlying civil […]

Pennsylvania Updates December 14, 2018

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania’s Superior Court Rejects Tolling Claims in Latent Disease Cases

On November 16, 2018, Pennsylvania’s Superior Court addressed whether claims of latent disease against an employer were tolled until the seminal Tooey ruling was issued in 2013.  Moeller v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 361 MDA 2018, (Pa. Super. 2018); Riley v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 122 MDA 2018 (Pa. Super. 2018), Michael Moeller was employed […]

Pennsylvania Updates October 16, 2018

Case Bulletin – Third Circuit Permits Insurer’s Contribution Claim Against Liquor Licensee

On August 22, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reinstated an insurer’s contribution claim against a liquor licensee for allegedly overserving alcohol to its insured driver. Encompass Insurance Co. v. Stone Mansion Restaurant Inc., No. 17-1479 (argued October 12, 2017). In March 2011, Brian Viviani and Helen Hoey attended a […]

Pennsylvania Updates July 19, 2018

Case Bulletin – PA Superior Court Holds Foreign Corporations who Register to do Business in Pennsylvania can be Subject to General Personal Jurisdiction

The United States Supreme Court has recently authored a number of cases restricting situations in which courts can exercise general personal jurisdiction over an out of state defendant. See e.g. BNSF Ry. Co. v. Tyrrell, 137 S.Ct. 1549, 1558 (2017); Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 137 (2014). However, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued […]

Pennsylvania Updates June 11, 2018

Case Bulletin – Allegheny County Judge Colville Approves of Alternative Service via Facebook

The Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure regarding service of original process provide: (a)  Original process may be served (1)  by handing a copy to the defendant; or (2)  by handing a copy (i)   at the residence of the defendant to an adult member of the family with whom he resides; but if no adult member […]

Pennsylvania Updates May 22, 2018

Case Bulletin: Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Rejects Employee’s Worker’s Compensation Claim Based on “Coming and Going” Rule

On May 17, 2018, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board’s dismissal of a claim filed by an electrical worker which arose after that worker was injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving to work.  Generally, the “coming and going” rule exempts employers from liability for injuries suffered by employees while commuting […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 17, 2018

Case Bulletin – PA Supreme Court allows Suit against Commonwealth for Negligent Installation and Design of a Guardrail

On February 21, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that when PennDOT installs a guardrail, “sovereign immunity is waived if the agency’s negligent installation and design creates a dangerous condition.” Cagey v. Commonwealth, ___ A.3d ___, 2018 WL 987783 (Pa. Feb. 21, 2018) (overruling Lambert v. Katz, 8 A.3d 409 (Pa. Commw. 2010); Stein v. […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 16, 2018

Case Bulletin – Superior Court Grants New Trial In Case in which Jury Charge Contained an Outdated Definition of “Defect”

On February 16, 2018, the Superior Court found that a Defendant manufacturer/supplier was entitled to a new trial following a denial of post-trial motions.  It held that because the Supreme Court’s decision in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A.3d 328 (Pa. 2014) created a new definition of “defect” a jury charge containing an outdated […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 7, 2018

Case Bulletin – DUI Legal & Practical Developments; What It Takes to Reach the Legal Limit

Along with DUI laws in states across the country, Pennsylvania DUI laws and associated penalties are changing.  A recent U. S. Supreme Court case, Birchfield v. North Dakota, decided on June 23, 2016, held that taking a blood sample or administering a breath test is a search governed by the Fourth Amendment.  In this context, […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 28, 2018

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds that statute of limitations for an uninsured motorist claim begins to run upon “an alleged breach of a contractual duty” by the insurer.

Erie Ins. Exch. v. Bristol., No. 124 MAP 2016 (Pa., Nov. 22, 2017). In July 2005, Michael Bristol was injured in a hit-and-run accident while working as a lineman for RCC, Inc.  RCC was insured though a policy issued by Erie Insurance that contained an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Endorsement.  That endorsement contained an arbitration clause. […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 19, 2018

Case Bulletin – Superior Court Holds Fair Share Act Applies to Strict Liability Claims

On Tuesday, December 28, 2017, the Superior Court ruled that the Fair Share Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102, applies to strict liability cases, including asbestos litigation. Roverano v. John Crane, Inc., ___ A.3d ___, 2017 WL 6761077 (Pa. Super. 2017). In Roverano, the plaintiff alleged exposure to asbestos during his employment from 1971-1981. He was […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 8, 2018

Case Bulletin – Third Circuit Upholds Dismissal Based On Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

On September 7, 2017, the Third Circuit upheld a dismissal of a Complaint against Walt Disney Parks and the Walt Disney Company based upon lack of personal jurisdiction. See Barth v. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts U.S., Inc., 2017 WL 3951783 (3d Cir. Sept. 8, 2017) (unpublished). The Plaintiffs sued the Disney Defendants in Philadelphia […]