News & Publications

Pennsylvania Updates June 30, 2017

Case Bulletin – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies the Duty of Informed Consent

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed a trial court’s instructions to the jury related to informed consent in Shinal v. Toms, M.D., 31 MAP 2016 (Pa. 2017), ultimately overruling prior Superior Court holdings.  In doing so, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a physician may not delegate to others his or her […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 25, 2017

Pennsylvania Superior Court Permits Evidence of Industry and Safety Standards In Products Liability Case Post-Tincher

On April 11, 2017, the Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s admission of evidence of industry and safety standards in the first products liability case considering this issue after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 104 A.3d 328 (Pa. 2014).   In Renninger v. A&R Machine Shop, ___ A.3d […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 25, 2017

Case Bulletin – PA Superior Court Upholds Arbitration Clause

On March 30, 2017, Pennsylvania’s Superior Court addressed the issue of mandatory arbitration arising out of a contract in Fellerman v. Peco Energy Co., 2017 WL 1175434 (Pa. Super. 2017).  In Fellerman, the plaintiffs retained the defendant to perform a home inspection as part of a real estate transaction.  The plaintiffs signed a contract prepared […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 25, 2017

Case Bulletin – Federal District Court Addresses Improper Allegations in Insurance Bad Faith Case in Recent Decision

On January 27, 2017, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that references of fiduciary duties owed to an insured by an insurance company must be stricken from plaintiff’s Complaint alleging claims of bad faith. In Meyers v. Protective Insurance Company, the Plaintiff husband was injured in a hit-and-run vehicle […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 26, 2017

Case Bulletin – Attorney’s Fees Permitted Even Where Plaintiff Elected $25,000 Limit Under Pa.R.C.P. 1311.1

On March 1, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held in a matter of first impression that a plaintiff who elects to limit damages to $25,000 pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1311.1 may still recover attorney’s fees in excess of that limit. Grimm v. Universal Med. Servs., Inc., ___ A.3d ___, 2017 Pa. Super. 53 (Mar. 1, 2017). […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 26, 2017

Case Bulletin – PA Superior Court Addresses Minor Deviations to UIM Waiver Form

On December 14, 2016, the Pennsylvania Superior Court (the “Court”) issued its decision in Petty v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., 2016 WL 7234016 (Pa. Super. 2016), holding: (1) the deviations from the statutory form for waiving underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage and the actual form used by the insurer were inconsequential niggles that had no impact […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 29, 2017

Case Bulletin – Third Circuit Reviews the Daubert Standard For Experts in Employment Law

On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a ruling in Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC,  where it discussed statistical expert opinions and interpreted the standard under Daubert for utilizing these experts’ opinions.   In Karlo, the defendant was a manufacturer of automotive glass.  When the […]

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 […]