News & Publications

Pennsylvania Updates October 17, 2022

PA Update – New Mediation Rule in Allegheny County

This new local rule will be enforced next year.  Possibly as early as the May 2023 trial term. Local Rule 212.7 Mandatory Mediation. (1) All parties shall participate in a formal mediation process no later than 45 days prior to commencement of the assigned trial term, as published in the Pittsburgh Legal Journal pursuant to […]

Pennsylvania Updates August 25, 2022

PA Update – Right to Remain Silent in the Face of Civil Litigation Upheld in Lycoming County Trial Court

Judge Lindhardt of the Lycoming County Trial Court addressed circumstances under which a civil litigant may assert their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a deposition in Sweet v. The City of Williamsport, No. 20-CV-00512 (C.P. Lyc. Co. June 27, 2022 Linhardt, J.). The case arose out of a fatal motor vehicle accident in which […]

Pennsylvania Updates July 7, 2022

PA Update – PA Commonwealth Court holds that Act 111 provisions granting employers credit for previously paid benefit weeks do not violate PA Constitution

The Commonwealth Court in a Memorandum Opinion Issued on May 25, 2022 by President Judge Jubelirer found Act 111 provisions granting employers credit for previously paid benefit weeks does not violate either due process or due course of law principles.  In addition, the Court held that by reenacting the IRE process, Act 111 did not […]

Pennsylvania Updates April 29, 2022

PA Update – Insurance Policy’s Household Exclusion Provision Enforceable Says Superior Court in Erie v. Colebank Opinion

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently held in a non-precedential opinion that Household Exclusion provisions of motor vehicle insurance policies are enforceable in Pennsylvania, and that a Plaintiff who chose not to procure Under Insured Motorist (“UIM”) coverage for his own vehicle was not entitled to UIM coverage under his parent’s policy merely because he lived […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 28, 2022

PA Update – The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania holds that the Workers’ Compensation Act does not preclude the award of attorney fees to a claimant even if an employer establishes a reasonable basis for seeking a termination of benefits in Lorino v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Commonwealth), 266 A.3d 487 (Pa. 2021).

A PennDOT equipment operator suffered an injury on August 22, 2016.  The employer’s workers compensation carrier, InServco, accepted liability for a low back sprain/tear and a left hip sprain/tear pursuant to two medical only notices of compensation payable.  The employee did not miss any work because of his injury and did not receive indemnity benefits […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 18, 2022

PA Update – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Inter-Policy Stacking Waivers Must Be Explicit to Be Enforceable Under Pennsylvania Law

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed entry of summary judgment in favor of an under-insured motorist plaintiff in a dispute involving inter-policy stacking. Donovan v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 4232, — A.3d — (3rd Cir. 2022). In that matter, the plaintiff was involved in a motorcycle accident and […]

Pennsylvania Updates March 2, 2022

PA Update – In an era of COVID-19, an employer’s willful and wanton disregard of their employee’s safety does not waive the Workers’ Compensation Act immunity from civil suit

In December 2021, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania addressed the issue of whether an employer’s willful or wanton disregard for an employee’s safety by deliberately exposing its employees to the COVID-19 virus was sufficient to overcome the exclusivity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act in Barker v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 21-223 (E.D. Pa. Dec. […]

Pennsylvania Updates February 24, 2022

PA Update – Superior Court of Pennsylvania Affirms Judgment in Favor of Employer-Social Host

In Klar v. Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., ___ A.3d ___, 2021 Pa. Super. LEXIS 729 (Pa. Super. Dec. 17, 2021), the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a defendant-employer cannot be held liable under a Dram Shop-style action. The employer organized and encouraged its employees to participate in a pay-to-play golf outing at a public […]

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

PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – PACKAGE OF BILLS AMENDING CRIMINAL LAWS AND EVIDENTIARY RULES PASSES STATE HOUSE AND HEADING FOR STATE SENATE

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 […]

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