Pennsylvania Law Weekly News

Toyota Discovery Dispute Sign of Things to Come Post-'Tincher'?

By Max Mitchell |

A dispute has arisen in a lawsuit against Toyota over the locking system of its 2005 4Runner, and, according to products liability attorneys, it may foreshadow the type of discovery disputes that are likely to arise in the unsettled post-Tincher v. Omega Flex landscape.

Court: Prejudgment Interest Doesn't Preclude Liquidated Damages

By Zack Needles |

An award of prejudgment interest under a breach of contract claim for unpaid wages does not bar a plaintiff from also recovering liquidated damages under the Wage Payment and Collection Law, a deeply divided Pennsylvania Superior Court en banc has ruled.

Judge Anne E. Covey

State Can't Seek Restoration Under Consumer Protection Law

By Zack Needles |

The state of Pennsylvania is not a "person in interest" who can recover restoration under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, a split Commonwealth Court en banc has ruled in a case of first impression, tossing out a suit filed by then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane against a statewide operator of skilled nursing facilities.

No Retroactivity for Statute Amending Firefighter Cancer Claim Limits

By Ben Seal |

A 2011 change to the Workers' Compensation Act extending the time limitation for a firefighter to claim that his cancer is an occupational disease does not apply retroactively, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

insurance policy

Insolvent Insurer's Coverage Denial Needs Judicial Review

By Ben Seal |

An insurer's pre-insolvency denial of coverage, without judicial confirmation, does not defeat a covered claim under the Pennsylvania Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association Act, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Samuel Stretton

There Are Risks When Hiring Independent Contract Lawyers

By Samuel C. Stretton |

In major litigation, my firm hires document lawyers to review documents and provide summaries. They are paid as independent contractors sometimes, and other times, if they are going to be there for a period of time, they are treated as temporary employees where taxes are taken out. Are there any ethical obligations presented?

Matthew B. Weisberg

Legal Malpractice: Expert Testimony and Causation

By Matthew B. Weisberg |

"A legal malpractice action is distinctly different from any other type of lawsuit brought in the commonwealth. A legal malpractice action is different because ... a plaintiff must prove a case within a case, since he must initially establish by a preponderance of the evidence that he would have recovered a judgment in the underlying action. ... It is only after the plaintiff proves he would have recovered a judgment in the underlying action that the plaintiff can then proceed with proof that the attorney he engaged to prosecute or defend the underlying action was negligent in the handling of the underlying action and that negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's loss since it prevented the plaintiff from being properly compensated for his loss,'" according to J.W. Hall v. Nalli, No. 771 (Pa.Super. 2017) (unpublished) (quoting Kituskie v. Corbman, 714 A.2d 1027, 1030 (Pa. 1998)).

Act 13's Continued Story: Clarifying 'Robinson Township'

By Lucas Liben |

What is commonly known in Pennsylvania as Act 13 became law in February 2012, and generally served to rewrite the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act (58 Pa. C.S. Sections 2301-3504). Since its enactment, Act 13 has been the subject of significant and continuing litigation, most of which stems from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's landmark decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013).

Matthew T. Mangino

US Supreme Court Limits Pennsylvania's 'No-Impeachment' Rule

By Matthew T. Mangino |

An age-old Pennsylvania legal tradition—the inability to upset a jury verdict regardless of the content or subject matter of a jury's internal deliberations—has been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A diverse attractive man and woman business team at office building

PLW People in the News—March 28, 2017—Barley Snyder

Barley Snyder's Justin A. Tomevi was admitted to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

verdicts and settlements

$11M Awarded to Man Shot by Escaped Devereux Patient

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A man shot and critically wounded by an escaped teenage resident from the Devereux Foundation facility in Glenmoore was awarded $11 million in his lawsuit against the behavioral health and rehabilitation chain.

verdicts and settlements

Truck Maker Argued Firefighter Fell Due To Error, Not Design

On March 4, 2005, Joseph Soppick, a self-employed mechanic and volunteer firefighter who was about 50, was injured while attempting to put out a fire in Conshohocken. He had been elevated in a fire-ladder truck when he was struck by a powerful water stream from another truck and fell about 15 feet to the pavement. He suffered multiple fractures to his wrist, skull and face.

Capitol Report

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of March 20. The Pennsylvania Senate was scheduled to reconvene on Monday and the state House of Representatives was set to return to session on April 3.

Bill Restricts ID'ing Police Involved in Violent Incidents

By Victoria Hudgins |

The House passed a bill that would place restrictions on the release of a law enforcement officer’s name and identifying information following an incident in which force or a firearm was used.

Senator Set to Reintroduce 'Right-to-Work' Bill in Pa.

By Victoria Hudgins |

Pennsylvania Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Dauphin, is set to reintroduce a bill to make Pennsylvania a "Right-to-Work" state.