News & Publications

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. […]

West Virginia Updates January 8, 2015

Case Bulletin – West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Affirms Jury Verdict and Trial Court Rulings In Rear End Collision Accident In Response to Multiple Assignments of Error

On November 21, 2014, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued a memorandum decision affirming the finding of the circuit court and jury verdict award  (over $1 million) in favor of the respondent in the case of Barrett v. Retton. This case resulted in a significant jury award for a rear-end motor vehicle accident […]

Pennsylvania Updates January 8, 2015

Case Bulletin – Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Insureds Can Assign Bad Faith Claims to Injured Third Parties

On December 15, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an insured can assign his or her bad faith claim against his or her insurance carrier to the injured party.  In  Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Jared Wolfe, a man was injured when his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver.  At trial, […]

Zimmer Kunz News January 8, 2015

Matthew Breneman – CLE presentation on Slip and Fall Cases in Pennsylvania

Shareholder Matthew Breneman was recently a presenter at a continuing education course entitled “Litigating Slip, Trip and Fall Cases in Pennsylvania.”  Mr. Breneman spoke regarding the fundamentals of slip, trip and fall litigation including relevant case law and statutes.  He also discussed the typical causes of slip/trip and falls and the most common injuries seen […]

Industry News January 2, 2015

Slow on the ‘Quick Take’: Eminent Domain Powers Under Pennsylvania’s Business Corporation Law

Oil and gas companies may be tapping into stores of natural gas in Pennsylvania, but they face difficulties realizing profits due to the challenges in transporting the shale gas to refineries for consumer use. Pipeline capacity constraints have become a cause for regional disparity of prices of natural gas around the country as production outpaces […]