News & Publications

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 […]

Pennsylvania Updates December 10, 2015

Pennsylvania Case Bulletin – The Pennsylvania Superior Court declines to allow Plaintiffs to Amend their Complaint to include a Count of Negligent Entrustment after learning that the named Defendant was not operating the vehicle at the time of the incident

On November 23, 2015, the Superior Court in Rivera v. Manzi, 2015 WL 7453998 (Pa. Super. 2015),  held that the Plaintiffs could not amend their complaint so as to include an entirely new cause of action against the Defendant after the Statute of Limitations had elapsed.   On October 14, 2012, the Plaintiffs, Luz and […]

Pennsylvania Updates November 25, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Vacates $250,000 Verdict Based on the “Jerk and Jolt” Doctrine

On October 28, 2015, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania vacated a $250,000 jury verdict, instead ruling in favor of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (“SEPTA”), Philadelphia’s public transportation system. Green v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Auth., No. 65 CD 2015 (Pa. Commw. 2015), slip op. at 1. On Saturday, February 2, 2013 at approximately 8:00 am, […]

Pennsylvania Updates October 2, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Superior Court Refuses to Sever Terms of Oil and Gas Lease

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled in the case Seneca Res. V. S&T Bank, 2015 PA Super. 181 (Aug. 31, 2015) that oil and gas lease terms are not severable when a lessee pays separate consideration for operated and unoperated areas.  In Seneca, the landowners sought a declaration to invalidate certain portions of a 1962 […]

Pennsylvania Updates June 14, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court declines to apply umbrella insurance policy’s employee exclusion to non-employer additional insureds

On May 26, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Mutual Benefit Ins. Co. v. Politsopoulous held that the employee liability exclusion section of a commercial liability insurance policy did not apply to non-employer additional insureds.  Specifically, the Court found the specific language of the policy to be dispositive in that it referred to “the insured” when […]

Pennsylvania Updates May 18, 2015

Case Bulletin – Beaver County Court Upholds Township’s Approval of Compressor Station

Earlier this year, Judge John D. McBride from the Court of Common Pleas in Beaver County issued his opinion in the case Kretschmann Farm, LLC, et al. v. Township of New Sewickley, et al., No. 11393 of 2014, Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County. That decision affirmed the township’s Board of Supervisor’s conditional use […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 30, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules on Worker’s Compensation Insurer’s Direct Suit to Recover Lien Amounts

On December 13, 2009, George Lawrence suffered a work related injury when he slipped and fell on a property leased by Domtar Paper Co. and owned by Commercial Net Realty Services, Inc.  As a result of this injury, Mr. Lawrence collected nearly $34,000 in worker’s compensation benefits from his employer’s worker’s compensation carrier, Liberty Mutual. […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 18, 2015

Case Bulletin — Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules on Tolling of Oil and Gas Leases

On February 17, 2015 in the case Wayne Harrison et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation,2015 WL 668073 (Pa. 2015), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a landowner’s legal dispute against Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (“Cabot”) would not allow Cabot to extend that lease.  In 2007, the Harrisons entered into an oil and gas […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 18, 2015

Pennsylvania Enacts DUI Repeat Offense Provision

In late 2014, a key change to Pennsylvania’s DUI laws was enacted that has the potential to change how a repeat DUI offense is charged and what penalties are imposed.   Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1239, individuals charged with a DUI could not be charged as a repeat offender unless they had […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]