This Week's Cases

Presto v. Minella Pool Serv. Co. South, PICS Case No. 15-0305 (C.P. Northampton Feb. 5, 2015) Beltrami, J. (11 pages).

In this action arising out of a construction contract, the "gist of the action" doctrine barred plaintiff's negligence claim but not his intentional and negligent misrepresentation claims since they related to the inducement to contract, not failure to perform. Defendant's preliminary objections sustained in part and overruled in part.

Salas v. Wal-Mart Stores, East, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0304 (C.P. Berks Jan. 29, 2015) Sprecher, J. (5 pages).

Plaintiff's service of the complaint on a property loss employee in the store where he slipped and fell was improper as she was not authorized to accept service nor was she employed by the named defendant, as it did not actually own the store. Dismissal should be affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Stotelmyer, PICS Case No. 15-0292 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015) Eakin, J.; Saylor, C.J. and Todd, J. dissenting (17 pages).

The Superior Court erred in holding that 42 Pa.C.S. §9763 authorized the imposition of a county intermediate sentence for defendant's conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver where the facts triggered the mandatory minimum sentence set forth in 18 Pa.C.S. §7508. Reversed and remanded.

Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., PICS Case No. 15-0285 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015) Saylor, C.J. (14 pages).

The court ruled that a validity challenge to an oil and gas lease did not constitute a repudiation of the lease entitling lessee oil and gas companies to equitable extension of the lease term. Matter returned to the Third Circuit.

Angelichio v. Myers, PICS Case No. 15-0288 (Pa. Super. Feb. 18, 2015) Shogan, J. (10 pages).

Pursuant to the rules of civil and appellate procedure, the trial court's discovery sanction order entering a default judgment against defendant for failure to appear for a deposition was not a final, appealable order. Appeal quashed.

Commonwealth v. Postie, PICS Case No. 15-0282 (Pa. Super. Feb. 17, 2015) Fitzgerald, J. (24 pages).

The court ruled that the trial court erred in handing down a "flat" sentence of incarceration when imposing total confinement. Judgment of sentence vacated; remanded for resentencing.

Commonwealth v. Wilson, PICS Case No. 15-0283 (Pa. Super. Feb. 18, 2015) Allen, J. (19 pages).

The court ruled that appellant was not subject to a sentence maximum of six months, where the specific subsection applicable to appellant's offense listed the offense as a first-degree misdemeanor. Judgment of sentence affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Jackson, PICS Case No. 15-0291 (Pa. Super. Feb. 17, 2015) Panella, J. (8 pages).

The Superior Court rejected defendant's challenge to his sentence, including his argument that the offenses of statutory sexual assault, set forth at 18 Pa.C.S. §3122.1, and rape, set forth at 18 Pa.C.S. §3121, merged for sentencing purposes. Affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Hollingshead, PICS Case No. 15-0290 (Pa. Super. Feb. 19, 2015) Olson, J. (14 pages).

Mental Abnormality/Personality Disorder • Hebephilia • Sentencing • Sexually Violent Predator

In the Interest of C.R., PICS Case No. 15-0277 (Pa. Super. Feb. 19, 2015) Musmanno, J. (15 pages).

Child Custody • Dependency Proceedings • Foster Parents • Standing

In re Adoption of M.R.D. and T.M.D., PICS Case No. 15-0287 (Pa. Super. Feb. 13, 2015) Stabile, J.; Gantman, P.J., dissenting (46 pages).

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights • Failure to Perform Parental Duties • "Creation of New Family Unit"

Janet L. Ryan Realty, Inc. v. Langton, PICS Case No. 15-0278 (Pa. Super. Feb. 17, 2015) (memorandum) Fitzgerald, J. (20 pages).

Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act • Broker Commissions • Unjust Enrichment

Gordon v. JFBB Ski Areas, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0284 (Pa. Super. Feb. 13, 2015) (memorandum) Wecht, J. (11 pages).

Personal Injury • Venue • Regularly Conducting Business • Quality/Quantity Analysis

CenturyLink Pub. Communications, Inc. v. Dep't of Corrections, PICS Case No. 15-0289 (Pa. Commw. Feb. 17, 2015) Pellegrini, J. (20 pages).

Pennsylvania Procurement Code • Request for Bid Proposals • Participation in Protest • Aggrieved Party

IA Constr. Corp. v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd., PICS Case No. 15-0286 (Pa. Commw. Feb. 19, 2015) Brobson, J. (13 pages).

Workers' Compensation • Modification of Benefits • Impairment Rating • Speciality of IRE Examiner

Litwack v. Dreamline, PICS Case No. 15-0306 (C.P. Chester Feb. 6, 2015) Tunnell, J. (5 pages).

Home Remodeling Contracts • Gist of the Action Doctrine • Economic Loss Doctrine

Commonwealth v. Rubino, PICS Case No. 15-0303 (C.P. Carbon Feb. 17, 2015) Nanovic, P.J. (16 pages).

DUI • Evidence • Corpus Delicti Rule • Self-Incrimination

S.B. v. J.B., PICS Case No. 15-0301 (C.P. Lycoming Jan. 2, 2015) McCoy, J. (7 pages).

Attorney Fees • Emergency Custody • Bad Faith

H.A.R.I.E. v. Lackawanna Cnty., PICS Case No. 15-0307 (C.P. Lackawanna Nov. 6, 2014) Minora, J. (44 pages).

Commercial Property Insurance • Coverage Disputes • Notice of Cancellation

J.P. v. Richards, PICS Case No. 15-0165 (C.P. Philadelphia Jan. 29, 2015) Massiah-Jackson, J. (11 pages).

Intentional Torts • Battery • Negligence • Negligent Hiring

Geneva College v. Secretary U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Serv., PICS Case No. 15-0311 (3d Cir. Feb. 11, 2015) Rendell, J. (49 pages).

A self-certification form that indicates that an entity elects not to provide contraceptive coverage on the basis of religious beliefs does not burden that entity's exercise of religion. District court's decision to grant injunctive relief to a Christian college reversed.

Griswold v. Coventry First LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0308 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 18, 2015) Buckwalter, J. (28 pages).

Dicta in a decision written by a court of appeals is not binding on lower courts. Motion to strike class-action allegations based on dicta in Third Circuit decision denied.

Stauffer v. Simpkins, PICS Case No. 15-0312 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 13, 2015) Rice, U.S.M.J. (10 pages).

Under Heck v. Humphrey, plaintiff's excessive force claims were barred by his state law criminal convictions, which showed that the officers' use of deadly force was in response to plaintiff's reckless actions that put them at risk of death or serious bodily injury. Motion for judgment on the pleadings granted.

Thomas v. Nat'l Bd. of Med. Examiners, PICS Case No. 15-0313 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 13, 2015) Rufe, J. (11 pages).

Even if graduates of foreign medical schools were owed a duty to warn about a licensing exam preparation company after it was sued in 2009, and that duty was breached, plaintiff did not show that the breach resulted in a compensable injury to him, because he took the exam in 2007. Summary judgment granted.

Chester v. Wetzel, PICS Case No. 15-0309 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 13, 2015) Kane, J. (21 pages).

Eighth Amendment • Death Row Inmates • Lethal Injection

Kinderman v. Cunningham, PICS Case No. 15-0241 (Pa. Super. Feb. 11, 2015) Bowes, J. (21 pages).

A new trial on the issue of damages was improper where the jury's award of only a fraction of uncontested economic damages likely represented a compromise verdict based on substantial conflict over the issue of liability. Judgment affirmed.

Guffey v. Kyriazis, PICS Case No. 15-0257 (C.P. Lackawanna Dec. 23, 2014) Minora, J. (11 pages).

Defendant's appeal of the special trial master's order imposing sanctions was granted in part in that defendant's expert's testimony would not be precluded. Defense counsel was ordered to pay plaintiff's legal expenses and costs associated with the discovery as well as legal expenses and costs related to the subpoenas which ultimately produced the information defendant did not produce

CAM Fin. Servs. v. Broadview Networks, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0243 (Pa. Super. Feb. 6, 2015) (memorandum) Strassburger, J. (7 pages).

The trial court erred in assuming the truth of the facts asserted in plaintiff's complaint, which challenged the validity of an arbitration agreement between the parties, where defendant asserted in preliminary objections that such facts were false. Reversed and remanded.

Baylson v. Genetics & IVF Inst., PICS Case No. 15-0242 (Pa. Super. Feb. 9, 2015) Lazarus, J. (9 pages).

The trial court erred in finding that venue in this wrongful use of civil proceedings case was proper only in Montgomery County, where the underlying suit was filed, and not also in Philadelphia County, were defendants regularly conducted business. Reversed and remanded.

PNC Mortgage v. Hart, PICS Case No. 15-0248 (Pa. Super. Feb. 10, 2015) (memorandum) Ott, J. (19 pages).

Trial court properly granted bank's summary judgment motion in a mortgage foreclosure action because homeowner effectively admitted that he was the party to the mortgage, that bank was the owner of the mortgage and that the mortgage was in default in the specified amount despite his claims that bank had not fully responded to outstanding discovery requests. Affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Fant, PICS Case No. 15-0246 (Pa. Super. Feb. 9, 2015) Stabile, J. (13 pages).

The trial court erred in granting defendant's motion to suppress recordings made at a correctional facility of conversations between defendant and unknown persons where the motion was granted based upon an unwarranted distinction between external and internal prison telephone calls. Reversed.

Commonwealth v. Veon, PICS Case No. 15-0237 (Pa. Super. Feb. 6, 2015) Panella, J. (34 pages).

The court ruled that a conflict of interest statute was not facially vague or vague as applied where the statute clearly prohibited public officials from using public funds for their private pecuniary gain. Judgment affirmed in part and vacated in part.

Commonwealth v. Brown, PICS Case No. 15-0245 (Pa. Super. Feb. 6, 2015) Gantman, P.J. (15 pages).

The Post-Conviction Relief Act court lacked authority to address the substantive merits of defendant's after-discovered evidence claim in the absence of jurisdiction, which defendant failed to established by proving that there were facts unknown to him and that he exercised due diligence in discovering those facts. Affirmed.

Zirnsak v. Colvin, PICS Case No. 15-0266 (3rd Cir. Feb. 12, 2015) Van Antwerpen, J. (26 pages).

Claimant who did not seriously argue that she was incapable of performing recommended level 3 jobs could not claim disability benefits, where there were superficial conflicts in the ALJ's reasoning. Judgment affirmed.

McCann v. Sandals Resorts Int'l, Ltd., PICS Case No. 15-0265 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 11, 2015) Yohn, J. (9 pages).

Under the reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman, Sandals Resorts International, Ltd., a Jamaican corporation was not subject to general personal jurisdiction in Pennsylvania for personal injuries occurring in St. Lucia. Motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction granted.

Leap v. Yoshida, PICS Case No. 15-0264 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 12, 2015) Pratter, J. (24 pages).

When the greatest possible recovery, if plaintiffs prevail at trial, appears to be approximately $250,000, a settlement in the amount of $225,000 that avoids the risks of litigation can be fair, adequate and reasonable. Motion for preliminary certification of class action and collective action and approval of settlement granted.

Casey v. UniTek Global Serv., PICS Case No. 15-0262 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 9, 2015) Stengel, J. (22 pages).

The attorney-client privilege does not apply to communications between a company and its in-house insurance broker, even if the insurance broker has a law degree. Motion for protective order denied.

Gallen v. Chester Cnty., Pa. Dist. Attorney's Office, PICS Case No. 15-0263 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 9, 2015) Tucker, J. (21 pages).

Stray remarks, such as an employer's comments about creating a "modern" office, may be insufficient to create an inference of age-based animus, for purposes of an age-discrimination claim. Defendants' motion for summary judgment granted.

A.M.W. v. N.P., PICS Case No. 15-0252 (Pa. Super. Feb. 12, 2015) (memorandum) Ford Elliott, J. (10 pages).

Child Custody • Marital Settlement Agreement • Choice of Forum • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act • Convenient Forum

R.L.P. v. R.F.M., PICS Case No. 15-0249 (Pa. Super. Feb. 11, 2015) Panella, J. (19 pages).

Custody and Child Support • Custody Order • Pa.R.Civ.P. 1915.10(b)

R.S. v. S.D., PICS Case No. 15-0250 (Pa. Super. Feb. 12, 2015) (memorandum) Bowes, J. (34 pages).

Custody and Child Support • Grandparent Custody • Standing • Equitable Estoppel

In the Interest of T.A.C., PICS Case No. 15-0240 (Pa. Super. Feb. 11, 2015) Lazarus, J. (11 pages).

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights • Continuing Existence of Conditions Leading to Removal/Placement • Parent/Child Bond

Gunter v. Koons, PICS Case No. 15-0239 (Pa. Super. Feb. 9, 2015) (memorandum) Stabile, J. (11 pages).

Modification of Alimony • Reduction in Income • Fault • Employment Termination for Deficient Performance

Carter v. Peerless Indem. Ins. Co., PICS Case No. 15-0236 (Pa. Super. Feb. 13, 2015) (memorandum) Strassburger, J. (8 pages).

Personal Injury • Insurance Policies • Underinsured Motorist Coverage • Designation as "Driver"

WMI Group, Inc. v. Fox, LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0251 (Pa. Super. Feb. 6, 2015) Fitzgerald, J. (24 pages).

Employment Contracts • Non-Competition Clauses • Trade Secrets • Rescission

Chiodetti v. Fernandes, PICS Case No. 15-0244 (Pa. Super. Feb. 6, 2015) (memorandum) Ott, J. (37 pages).

Admissibility • Expert Witnesses • Pa.R.Civ.P. 4003.5(c)

Myrick v. Mack, PICS Case No. 15-0247 (Pa. Super. Feb. 9, 2015) (memorandum) Allen, J. (16 pages).

Implied Easement • Common Ownership • Severance of Title

Wells Fargo Bank N.A. v. Miceli, PICS Case No. 15-0271 (C.P. Carbon Dec. 29, 2015) Nanovic, J. (22 pages).

Mortgage Foreclosure • Notice Requirements • Admissions• Home Affordable Modification Program

Reynolds v. Stambaugh, PICS Case No. 15-0191 (Pa. Super. Feb. 5, 2015) (memorandum) Bowes, J. (25 pages).

Trial court erred in dismissing appellant's legal malpractice action because appellee's failure to join the contractor who created the dangerous condition and serve the owners of the premises in appellant's underlying personal injury action caused her to settle the injury action for less than her case was worth. Reversed and remanded.

Commonwealth v. Walker, PICS CASE No. 15-0258 (C.P. Berks Oct. 27, 2014) Yatron, J. (4 pages).

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel • Guilty Plea • Deportation

Commonwealth v. Tedrow, PICS Case No. 15-0256 (C.P. Lawrence Dec. 19, 2014) Piccione, J. (10 pages).

Witness Identification • Motion To Suppress •

Ritter v. Van Campen Motors, PICS Case No. 150-0255 (C.P. Lycoming Feb. 9, 2015) Anderson, J. (3 pages).

Motor Vehicles • Intoxication • Preclusion of Evidence

Gamble v. Beck, PICS Case No. 15-0269 (C.P. Lycoming Jan. 6, 2015) Gray, J. (8 pages).

Premises Liability • Landlord/Tenant Liability • Hills and Ridges Doctrine

Phillips v. Ford Motor Co., PICS Case No. 15-0226 (C.P. Northampton Jan. 21, 2015) Beltrami, J. (17 pages).

Motor Vehicles • Preemption • Design Defects • Crashworthiness Claims

Lipshutz v. St. Monica Manor, PICS Case No. 15-0199 (Pa. Super. Feb. 3, 2015) (memorandum) Platt, J. (6 pages).

The trial court properly ruled that decedent's daughter, acting as attorney-in-fact for decedent in signing an arbitration agreement as part of admission of decedent to a nursing facility, was not bound to the agreement in her personal capacity. Affirmed.

Allegheny Energy Supply Co., LLC v. Wolf Run Mining Co., PICS Case No. 15-0201 (Pa. Super. Jan. 30, 2015) (memorandum) Musmanno, J. (15 pages).

The trial court did not err in finding that defendant could not exercise a reopener provision of the parties' coal sales agreement in order to renegotiate price. Affirmed.

Warren v. Equitable Gas. Co., PICS Case No. 15-0194 (Pa. Super. Feb. 4, 2015) (memorandum) Allen, J. (15 pages).

Trial court properly granted summary judgment to appellees in dispute over the interpretation of an oil and gas lease and correctly held that the lease allowed storage operations on the land and did not require production. Affirmed.

In the Interest of S.E.R., PICS Case No. 15-0196 (Pa. Super. Jan. 30, 2015) (memorandum) Wecht, J. (17 pages).

The trial court did not err in terminating mother's parental rights and changing child's goal to adoption where there was sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that mother failed to comply with family service plan. Order of the trial court affirmed.

Comprehensive Women's Health Servs., P.C. v. Grube, PICS Case No. 15-0202 (Pa. Super. Dec. 17, 2015) (memorandum) Mundy, J. (20 pages).

The trial court correctly denied plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief on the basis of defendant's violation of a termination notice provision in his employment contract since the injunctive relief sought was not reasonably suited to abate the offending activity. Affirmed.

Deeds v. Univ. of Pa. Med. Ctr., PICS Case No. 15-0203 (Pa. Super. Jan. 30, 2015) Wecht, J. (22 pages).

The trial court erred in denying plaintiff's motion for a new trial based on a violation of the collateral source rule where the court improperly allowed defendants to inform the jury that plaintiff's substantial medical needs were being attended to by various medical benefits programs. Reversed and remanded.

United States v. Wright, PICS Case No. 15-0224 (3rd Cir. Feb. 6, 2015) Fuentes, J. (13 pages).

Fourth Amendment • Facially Invalid Warrant • Suppression of Evidence

Byars v. Sch. Dist. of Phila. PICS Case No. 15-0222 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 4, 2015) Goldberg, J. (6 pages).

School district defendants in a wrongful-discharge suit moved to seal an investigator's memo and report in order to help prevent embarrassment to school district employees and to protect them from allegations of defamation and false light invasion of privacy. Motion denied.

Harlan v. Transworld Sys. Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0220 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 6, 2015) Pratter, J. (33 pages).

A court can approve as fair, adequate and reasonable, a class-action settlement that greatly exceeds the statutory cap in the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Motion to approve settlement granted.

Nowak v. Major League Soccer, LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0223 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 4, 2015) McLaughlin, J. (12 pages).

A pro soccer coach's contractual tort claim against the Major League Soccer Players Union was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, as the claim concerned arguably protected conduct by the union. Motion to dismiss granted.

Bosler v. Bio-Med. Applications of Pa., PICS Case No. 15-0221 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 3, 2015) Schmehl, J. (10 pages).

Although the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law allows workers to recover unpaid wages owed pursuant to contract, reliance on an employee handbook may not be sufficient to create a contract. Motion to dismiss putative class-action complaint granted.

Matusek v. Bruno, PICS Case No. 15-0200 (Pa. Super. Feb. 5, 2015) (memorandum) Bowes, J. (31 pages).

The court ruled that conflict in the testimony of plaintiff-appellant's expert witnesses as to the standard of care applicable to defendant-appellees physicians required the entry of nonsuit as to the theories of negligence on which the experts' testimony was conflicted. Judgment affirmed.

Leach v. Davis, PICS Case No. 15-0198 (Pa. Super. Feb. 5, 2015) (memorandum) Ott, J. (20 pages).

Inter Vivos Transfer • Undue Influence • Confidential Relationship • Constructive Trust

In re Estate of Moskowitz, PICS Case No. 15-0195 (Pa. Super. Feb. 4, 2015) Gantman, P.J. (31 pages).

Power of Attorney • Unlawful Transfer • Inter Vivos Gift • Specific Recovery • Statute of Limitations

Estate of Agnew v. Ross, PICS Case No. 15-0204 (Pa. Super. Feb. 2, 2015) Strassburger, J. (16 pages).

Standing • Breach of Contract Claim • Legal Representation • Third-Party Beneficiary

Global Tel*Link Corp. v. Dep't of Corrections, PICS Case No. 15-0205 (Pa. Commw. Feb. 6, 2015) Pellegrini, P.J. (19 pages).

Commonwealth Procurement Code • Bid Proposal Process • Non-Selected Bidder • Participation in Protest

Riverfront Dev. Grp., LLC v. Harrisburg Zoning Hearing Bd., PICS Case No. 15-0192 (Pa. Commw. Jan. 30, 2015) McCullough, J. (21 pages).

Residential Zone Limitations • Dwellings Per Lot • Variance • Special Exception

Paint Twp. v. Clark, PICS Case No. 15-0190 (Pa. Commw. Feb. 5, 2015) McCullough, J. (23 pages).

Right-to-Know Law • Township Supervisor's Cell Phone Records • Metadata

Tivoli Condo. Ass'n v. Rodin Parking Partners, L.P., PICS Case No. 15-0193 (Pa. Commw. Jan. 30, 2015) McGinley J. (25 pages).

Condominium Act • Condominium Declaration • Deed of Confirmation

Donahay v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd., PICS Case No. 15-0197 (Pa. Commw. Feb. 4, 2015) Leavitt, J. (17 pages).

Workers' Compensation • Partial Disability Benefits • Suspension of Benefits • Loss of Earnings

Young v. Miller, PICS Case No. 15-0218 (C.P. Northampton Dec. 30, 2014) Beltrami, J. (7 pages).

Indispensable Party • Commercial Lease • Breach of Contract

Bauer v. Herr-Voss Stamco, Inc. PICS Case No. 15-0215 (C.P. Philadelphia Jan. 6, 2015) Massiah-Jackson, J. (10 pages)

Strict Liability • Negligence • Workplace Injury • Venue

Commonwealth v. Lucas, PICS Case No. 15-0230 (C.P. Lycoming Dec. 31, 2015) Butts, J. (5 pages).

DUI • Search and Seizure • Municipal Police Jurisdiction Act

Peoples v. Philbin, PICS Case No. 15-0213 (C.P. Lackawanna Dec. 23, 2014) Minora, J. (11 pages).

Statute of Limitations • Discovery Rule • Failure to Diagnose

Lee v. Borough of Downingtown, PICS Case No. 15-0172 (C.P. Chester Jan. 21, 2015) Tunnell, J. (10 pages).

The evidence presented by plaintiff failed to meet the definitional requirements of "waste" or "wrongdoing" under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower law. Defendants' motion for summary judgment granted.

In re English, PICS Case No. 15-0216 (C.P. Lycoming Jan. 30, 2015) Lovecchio, J. (5 pages).

Settlement Agreement • Wrongful Death Claim

Estate of Rucker, PICS Case No. 15-0214 (C.P. Philadelphia Jan. 12, 2015) Herron, J. (7 pages).

Jurisdiction • Foreign Fiduciary • Foreign Estate

Wright v. Levan, PICS Case No. 15-0171 (C.P. Berks Oct. 31, 2014) Sprecher, J. (12 pages)

Judgment was entered in favor of plaintiff in this legal malpractice action where her original attorney, showing a reckless indifference to plaintiff's interests, failed to move litigation forward, resulting in dismissal of plaintiff's case for failure to prosecute.

Angino & Rovner, PC v. Santander Bank, N.A., PICS Case No. 15-0157 (Pa. Super. Jan. 28, 2015) (memorandum) Ott, J. (17 pages).

Plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege a claim for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing where the complaint did not establish anything other than defendant bank's decision to enforce its legal and contractual rights against plaintiffs.

Drake Mfg. Co., Inc. v. Polyflow, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0151 (Pa. Super. Jan. 23, 2015) Jenkins, J. (27 pages).

The trial court erred in permitting plaintiff-appellee to submit, post-trial, a certificate of its authority to do business as a foreign corporation where appellee failed to diligently do so during trial. Judgment reversed.

Kern v. Lehigh Valley Hosp., Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0155 (Pa. Super. Jan. 28, 2015) Stabile, J. (16 pages).

Denial of class certification was proper where appellant failed to prove common questions for the class as a whole. Order of the trial court affirmed.

Sisson v. Stanley, PICS Case No. 15-0148 (Pa. Super. Jan. 27, 2015) Stabile, J. (52 pages).

Trial court properly opened a judgment obtained by service of process by publication after a named defendant came forward and alleged insufficient process in the case and granted judgment on the pleadings based on the interpretation of the wording of a 1953 deed to determine ownership of shale gas rights. Affirmed.

Stinger v. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0150 (Pa. Super. Dec. 15, 2014) Gantman, P.J. (22 pages).

Trial court properly enforced the settlement agreement to sell land allegedly damaged by oil and gas well operations because the letters signed by the parties contained all the requisites for a valid contract. Affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Walker, PICS Case No. 15-0159 (Pa. Super. Jan. 28, 2015) Bender, J. (18 pages).

The Superior Court vacated an order denying defendant's petition for relief and remanded where the PCRA court applied an incorrect prejudice standard in assessing defendant's claim of trial counsel's ineffectiveness. Reversed and remanded.

Commonwealth v. Graham, PICS Case No. 15-0158 (Pa. Super. Jan. 29, 2015) Stabile, J. (12 pages).

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution did not bar the commonwealth from relisting this criminal matter for trial, since the prosecutor's questions at trial, which resulted in a mistrial, did not evince prosecutorial misconduct. Affirmed.

Holland v. Holland, PICS Case No. 15-0153 (Pa. Super. Jan. 26, 2015) (memorandum) Wecht, J. (19 pages).

Divorce • Property Settlement Agreement • Parol Evidence

O'Brien v. Great Lakes Oncology Hematology, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0156 (Pa. Super. Jan. 23, 2015) (memorandum) Allen, J. (18 pages).

Vacation and Disability Compensation • Cash-Out • Timeliness of Appeal

Abeln v. Eidelman, PICS Case No. 15-0161 (Pa. Super. Jan. 23, 2015) (memorandum) Ford Elliott, J. (50 pages).

Attorney Malpractice • Underlying Settlement • Muhammad v. Strassburger • Absence of Fraud

Hickman v. Shor-Conroy, PICS Case No. 15-0152 (Pa. Super. Jan. 23, 2015) Jenkins, J. (11 pages).

Prima Facie Case • Res Ipsa Loquitur • Expert Opinion • Medical Records As "Expert Reports"

Dep't of Envtl. Pro. v. Spangler, PICS Case No. 15-0160 (Pa. Commw. Jan. 23, 2015) McCullough, J. (19 pages).

Home Heating Oil Spill • Jurisdiction • Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act • Storage Tank/Spill Prevention Act

Arnold v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd., PICS Case No. 15-0147 (Pa. Commw. Jan. 28, 2015) Colins, S. J. (22 pages).

Workers' Compensation • Total Disability • Specific Loss Benefits

In re Clinton Cnty. Tax Claims Bureau Consol. Return, PICS Case No. 15-0154 (Pa. Commw. Jan. 23, 2015) McCullough, J. (10 pages).

Tax Sale • Posting Notice on Property • Untimely 1925(b) Statement

Gibellino v. Manchester Twp., PICS Case No. 15-0146 (Pa. Commw. Jan. 23, 2015) Pellegrini J. (17 pages).

Immunity • Tort Claims Act • Section 8542(b)(5) Exceptions

Garcia v. HCR ManorCare LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0180 (C.P. Berks Nov. 10, 2014) Sprecher, J. (14 pages).

Arbitration Agreement • Contract of Adhesion • Nursing Homes

Commonwealth v. Anderson, PICS Case No. 15-0179 (C.P. Lawrence Jan. 12, 2015) Motto, P.J. (13 pages).

Search and Seizure • Habeas Corpus • Domestic Disputes

Marks v. Marks, PICS Case No. 15-0173 (C.P. Berks Jan. 9, 2015) Lash, J. (26 pages).

Custody and Child Support • Anger Management • Best Interests of Children

Whetzel v. Whetzel, PICS Case No. 15-0169 (C.P. Lawrence Jan. 20, 2015) Hodge, J. (18 pages).

Petition To Relocate • Custody and Child Support

Lyons Borough v. Twp. of Maxatawny, PICS Case No. 15-0175 (C.P. Berks Oct. 23, 2014) Sprecher, J. (5 pages).

Preliminary Approval • Conditional Final Approval • Sewer Capacity Calculation

Frick v. Buckwalter, PICS Case No. 15-0170 (C.P. Berks Nov. 20, 2014) Sprecher, J. (5 pages).

Attorney Fees • Sanctions • Termination of Inactive Case

Snyder v. Brecknock Twp., PICS Case No. 15-0176 (C.P. Berks Dec. 1, 2014) Sprecher, J. (8 pages).

Wrongful Death • Negligence Survival Actions • Motor Vehicles

In re Lemington Home for the Aged, PICS Case No. 15-0183 (3rd Cir. Jan. 26, 2015) Vanaskie, J. (28 pages).

While evidence of self-dealing provided a sufficient factual basis to conclude that nursing home officers acted with the outrageous motive of self-enrichment at the expense of the non-profit facility, insufficient state-of-mind evidence supported the punitive damages awarded against defendant directors. Judgment affirmed and reversed in part.

FTC v. Cephalon Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0184 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 28, 2015) Goldberg, J. (32 pages).

To meet their initial burden in a case that challenged reverse payments of approximately $300 million on antitrust grounds, plaintiffs were only required to present evidence of a large reverse payment and anti-competitive effects. Because a genuine issue of material fact existed on whether defendants' justifications were pretextual, plaintiffs' complaint survived summary judgment.

Dep't of Envtl. Pro. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., PICS Case No. 15-0186 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 30, 2015) Rambo, J. (21 pages).

Although a potentially responsible party that enters an administrative or judicially approved settlement with a state can be exempt from contribution, pursuant to CERCLA Section 113(f)(2), a final agreement that was not filed as a proposed consent degree may not qualify. Third-party defendant's motion for summary judgment on CERCLA count denied.

Walker v. Farnan, PICS Case No. 15-0185 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 21, 2015) Surrick, J. (10 pages).

An inmate had no clearly established right to be transferred from death row to the general population after his death sentence was vacated but before resentencing, and defendant prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from claims for monetary damages. Motion for summary judgment granted.

Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, PICS Case No. 15-0182 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 28, 2015) Bissoon, J. (13 pages).

A definition of a class that requires the court to conduct mini-hearings on damages at the initial stage of class certification may not be workable. Motion to strike class-action allegations granted.

Reinoso v. Heritage Warminster SPE LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0121 (Pa. Super Jan. 14, 2015) Stabile, J. (27 pages).

The trial court erred in ruling a sidewalk defect that caused a trip-and-fall, trivial as a matter of law, where appellant-plaintiff, an invitee, presented expert evidence that the defect exceeded safety standards. Summary judgment reversed.

Carrington v. F.D. Builders Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0134 (C.P. Chester Oct. 21, 2014) Tunnell, J. (6 pages).

In this action between a home builder and the second owner, defendants' lack of privity objection was a mere legal conclusion and failed to justify dismissal of the complaint, while their objection to the "fraud" claim failed to make clear to what claim of misrepresentation it referred. Preliminary objections dismissed in part and sustained in part.

State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. v. Dill, PICS Case No. 15-0115 (Pa. Super. Jan. 13, 2015) Wecht, J. (19 pages).

Trial court correctly ruled appellant's failure to object to the arbitrator's participation resulted in waiver of her challenge to the arbitrator on appeal. Affirmed.