Pennsylvania Law Weekly News

Judge OKs Stacked UM/UIM Benefits Absent New Waiver

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

A Monroe County judge has ruled that a driver with an insurance policy covering four cars is entitled to $400,000 in stacked uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits because he did not sign new waivers when he added his most recent vehicles to the policy.

Borough Blocked New Gas Well on Faulty Basis, Court Says

By Zack Needles |

In a ruling that could prove instructive to parties seeking to block construction of natural gas wells in their communities, the Commonwealth Court overruled an Allegheny County borough's denial of a driller's conditional use application, finding that the borough council relied on inadequate testimony by objectors.

Home Rule Charter Amendment Cannot Remove Police Bargaining Rights

By Ben Seal |

A home rule municipality may not redefine subjects of collective bargaining, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled.

Samuel Stretton

A Review of Sanctions Would Benefit the Judicial 
Disciplinary System

By Samuel C. Stretton |

The current judicial system created by the 1993 amendments to the Pennsylvania Constitution has been working fairly well. The Judicial Conduct Board was created under Article 5, Section 18 of the Pennsylvania Constitution as was the Court of Judicial Discipline. Rules of Procedure for both the Judicial Conduct Board and the Court of Judicial Discipline have been promulgated.

Class Arbitration of Oil and Gas Leases: An Update on 'Chesapeake Appalachia'

By Thomas Galligan |

On April 28, U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann of the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued the latest opinion in a series of high-profile decisions regarding class arbitrability of oil and gas leases. In Chesapeake Appalachia v. Scout Petroleum, 4:14-CV-0620, (M.D. Pa. April 28), Brann granted Chesapeake's motion for partial summary judgment, and entered a declaratory judgment that the leases at issue do not permit class arbitration, and instead require individual (or bilateral) arbitration. Brann's opinion rejected Scout's novel argument that as a matter of Pennsylvania contract law, class arbitration was impliedly authorized under the leases.

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Pa.'s Patient Safety Authority—Working to Prevent Medical Errors

By Cliff Rieders |

Pennsylvania's Patient Safety Authority (PSA) has completed its annual report to the Legislature, as required by law. When I helped to fashion the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority in 2001 as part of the MCARE Act, hardly could it have been imagined that the authority would grow to an entity of national, and even international, recognition.

The Grand Bargain Becomes the Grand Betrayal

By Samuel H. Pond and Maureen "Morty" Cassidy |

Over 100 years ago, the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act was introduced to the commonwealth. It was called the "grand bargain." The grand bargain resulted in the loss of the constitutional right of an injured worker to sue their employer in exchange for the certainty and guarantee of workers' compensation benefits consisting of a weekly check and payment of medical treatment.

PLW People in the News—May 30, 2017—

Dennis A. Watson, principal of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, was elected chairman of the Allegheny League of Municipalities (ALOM), for the term of one year.

verdicts and settlements

$2 Million Settlement Reached in Table Saw Amputation Lawsuit

By Max Mitchell |

A man who amputated his finger with a table saw has settled claims against the toolmaker and the saw's owner for $2 million between them, according to the plaintiff's attorneys.

verdicts and settlements

Plaintiff's Back Pain Pre-existed Accident, Defense Asserted

On Jan. 8, 2014, plaintiff Salim Geiger, a barber in his late 40s, was involved in a rear-end collision in South Philadelphia.

Capitol Report

Following is a listing of legislative and executive action for the week of May 22. Members of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to session on June 5.

State Legislature Passes Airport Betting Bill

By Victoria Hudgins |

The General Assembly passed a measure that could bring gambling to Pennsylvania's airports.

Bill Would Allow Retired Judges to Officiate Weddings

By Victoria Hudgins |

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed an amendment that would allow retired judges, justices and magisterial district judges to solemnize marriages.