Pennsylvania Law Weekly News

Bad-Faith Fees Arguments Focus on Definition of 'May'

By Ben Seal |

Arguments before the state Supreme Court in Harrisburg last week in a case over bad-faith penalties for government agencies that fail to pay contractors narrowed in on the legislature's intention in saying a court "may" enter an order for such penalties.

General Exclusion Doesn't Apply to In-School Autism Care

By Ben Seal |

An insurer must provide coverage for in-school, autism-related services, despite a general exclusion saying services would not be covered in schools, the state Superior Court has ruled.

Pa. Law Weekly — People in the News Nov. 16, 2015—Professionalism Award

Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky shareholder Harry F. Kunselman received the Professionalism Award from the civil litigation section of the Allegheny County Bar Association.

gevel in a courtroom

Parties Argue Jurisdiction in Leak Penalty Case

By Lizzy McLellan |

During oral arguments in Harrisburg last week, justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court grilled a lawyer for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over why the agency would not want a prompt answer to a question of statutory interpretation, in arguments over jurisdiction in a declaratory judgment action dealing with a civil penalty that may be growing daily.

Sam Stretton

It's OK for staff to refer cases to the law firm

By Samuel C. Stretton |

I would like to encourage my office staff to refer cases to the law firm. What can I do to encourage them?


Representing Immigrant Workers in Personal Injury Claims

By Charles J. Schleifer 
and James C. Haggerty |

According to recent statistics, there are between 6.4 and 8 million people who entered the country illegally and are a part of the U.S. labor force. The type of work performed by these workers is often very dangerous—they commonly work in the areas of construction, agriculture and manufacturing. Statistically, these workers comprise approximately 6 percent of the civilian workforce while suffering nearly 10 percent of work-related injuries.

Pa. Justices Consider Stepparent's Child-Support Duty

By Lizzy McLellan |

In arguments before the state Supreme Court, a mother argued that she should receive child support from the stepfather of her children because he pursued custodial rights in court.

Justices Mull Trustee Replacement for Bankrupt Plaintiff

By Lizzy McLellan |

Delayed-Diagnosis Verdict for Woman With Cancer

By Ben Seal |

A woman whose cancer diagnosis was delayed more than four years by her doctors' failure to report a mass on her lung has been awarded a $3 million verdict by a Jefferson County jury. The verdict is the largest ever reported in Jefferson County, according to a review of The Legal's annual listing of top verdicts and settlements.

Girl's Family Reaches Settlement With Pit Bull Owners

By Alex Carpenter |

Family members reached a prelitigation structured settlement after a pit bull bit an 11-year-old girl during a family gathering.

The Evolving, Subjective Nature of Mental and Emotional Injuries

By Susan Nanes 
and Samuel H. Pond |

For many of us, work can be physically draining, intellectually taxing and just plain drudgery. For others, work can become a traumatizing environment where workers can be hurt in numerous ways that do not result in physical injuries. Over 100 years ago, with the passage of the Workers' Compensation Act, workers conceded the power to sue employers in tort for injuries that occurred on the job in favor of a systematic approach that would compensate them only for medical care and a wage payment without a cost-of-living adjustment. At that time, immediate worries included the horrors of coal mines and factories, and other physical dangers of the Industrial Revolution workplace.

Bills in Place, but No Budget Yet

By John L. Kennedy |

The state House of Representatives and Senate are positioning bills that would be vehicles for the necessary pieces of a state budget, but few details of the budget have been agreed to yet, lawmakers said.

Legislative and Executive Action During the Week of Nov. 16

By John L. Kennedy |

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of Nov. 16. Members of the state House of Representatives and Senate were scheduled to return to session Nov. 23.

How a Bill is Made Law: 2015 Style

By Melissa Iacobucci |

On Nov. 9, while still at a four-month impasse over budgetary issues, the state House of Representatives was busy at work passing HB 380 by a vote of 191-6.