This Week's Cases

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. v. Scroggins, PICS Case No. 16-0904 (Pa. Super. July 7, 2016) (memorandum) Platt, J. (19 pages).

Trial court properly found that appellant authorized her attorneys to enter into the stipulated permanent injunction to resolve appellee oil and gas company's trespass actions against her. Affirmed.

Cadlerock Joint Venture II, L.P. v. Gatesman, PICS Case No. 16-0898 (Pa. Super. July 8, 2016) (memorandum) Musmanno, J. (15 pages).

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting a motion for sanctions filed by a co-signer after the lender continued litigation against the co-signer after reaching an accord and satisfaction with the primary borrower. Order of the trial court affirmed.

Helena Chem. Co. v. Beiler, PICS Case No. 16-0901 (Pa. Super. June 30, 2016) (memorandum) Dubow, J. (12 pages).

The trial court erred in reading together a credit agreement and promissory note and applying an arbitration clause in the credit agreement to an action brought under the promissory note. Order of the trial court affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Commonwealth v. Ciccone, PICS Case No. 16-0893 (Pa. Super. July 12, 2016) Bender, P.J. (48 pages).

The PCRA court had jurisdiction to correct a sentence rendered unconstitutional pursuant to Alleyne, even though judgment was final by the time of the Alleyne decision. Order of the PCRA court reversed, case remanded for resentencing.

Commonwealth v. Brown, PICS Case No. 16-0899 (Pa. Super. July 11, 2016) Stevens, J. (6 pages).

A petitioner asserting a claim of actual innocence could not overcome the timeliness provisions of the PCRA, and thus the PCRA court lacked jurisdiction to hear petitioner's untimely petition. Order of the PCRA court affirmed.

Giovinazzo v. Susquehanna Bank, PICS Case No. 16-0853 (Pa. Super. July 1, 2016) (memorandum) Ford Elliott, P.J. (17 pages).

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering production of documents claimed to be privileged, where the producing party provided blacked-out or redacted copies to the trial court for in camera review, such that the trial court was unable to review the substance of the documents to determine the applicability of privilege. Order of the trial court affirmed.

McCarthy v. Armstrong, PICS Case No. (Pa. Super. July 8, 2016) (memorandum) Stevens, P.J. (9 pages).

Trial court's order dismissing appellant's amended complaint and giving him the opportunity to present his claims in a pending arbitration was not a final order because it did not dispose of "all claims" or "all parties" and was an interlocutory order and not appealable. Appeal quashed.

Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Modern Gas, PICS Case No. 16-0907 (Pa. Super. July 8, 2016) Mundy, J. (11 pages).

Trial court erred in granting summary judgment for gas company in insurer's subrogation suit based on fire in pizza oven after gas company serviced the oven, because the trial court erred in assessing the credibility of insurer's expert's report. Reversed.

Hahn v. Loch, PICS Case No. 16-0900 (Pa. Super. July 13, 2016) (memorandum) Stevens, P.J. (13 pages).

The trial court properly granted judgment on the pleadings against appellant on her claims of invasion of privacy stemming from a medical office's improper disclosure of appellant's medical records. Judgment affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Estate of Kiefner, PICS Case No. 16-0905 (Pa. Super. July 8, 2016) (memorandum) Bender, P.J. (13 pages).

Orphans' court erred in dismissing daughters' petition challenging father's will that disinherited them and gave the entire estate to his nephew because orphans' court was incorrect in refusing to allow medical records from a hospice, regarding decedent's state of mind 10 days before the will was signed, into evidence on the bald assertion that the evidence was hearsay. Vacated.

Costa v. Cortes, PICS Case No. 16-0903 (Pa. Commw. July 6, 2016) Brobson, J. (35 pages).

The General Assembly was empowered to remove a proposed constitutional amendment from the ballot and reschedule it to a subsequent election ballot. Petitioners' application for summary relief denied, respondents' application for summary relief granted.

Perroz v. Fox Chapel Borough, PICS Case No. 16-0910 (Pa. Commw. July 13, 2016) Simpson, J. (34 pages).

Trial court properly affirmed borough's denial of disability pension benefits to police officer who was honorably discharged after being injured at work because the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and pension plan limited benefits to those officers who qualified for federal Social Security disability benefits. Affirmed.

Czarnecki v. State Emps.' Ret. Bd., PICS Case No. 16-0859 (Pa. Commw. July 6, 2016) Simpson, J. (17 pages).

Contractually-owed pay for on-call services were to be included in a state employee's compensation for retirement benefit calculation where the pay was received as compensation for being a state employee and did not explicitly fall into any of the statutory exclusions. Order of the state employees' retirement board reversed, case remanded for recalculation of benefits.

Jackson v. Commonwealth, PICS Case No. 16-0908 (Pa. Commw. July 7, 2016) Pellegrini, J. (13 pages).

PSP erred in mandating that petitioner was required to register as a sex offender under SORNA because PSP should have given petitioner credit for the time he registered in Texas and Delaware after his 1991 Texas conviction and with such credit, petitioner had successfully completed his registration period before SORNA's effective date. Summary relief granted.

Dunn v. Middletown Twp. Zoning Hearing Bd., PICS Case No. 16-0909 (Pa. Commw. July 11, 2016) Simpson, J. (34 pages).

Trial court erred in upholding zoning board's grant of two variances for minimum lot size and one variance for maximum density because applicant did not show any unnecessary hardship. Reversed.

Kennedy House Inc. v. Phila. Comm'n on Human Relations, PICS Case No. 16-0902 (Pa. Commw. July 11, 2016) Jubelirer, J. (32 pages).

A housing association was not required to offer an accommodation in the form of a waiver of its no-dog policy where applicant could not demonstrate a nexus between her disability and the assistance provided by her dog. Order of the trial court reversed.

Lattaker v. Magee Women's Hosp., PICS Case No. 16-0891 (C.P. Allegheny July 5, 2016) Wettick, J. (9 pages).

Defense counsel's objections to allowing defendant treating physician to participate in discovery relied on misunderstanding of a ruling in a prior case. Plaintiff moved to reconvene discovery. Granted.

Computer Mgmt. and Mktg. Assoc. v. Just Be Natural, PICS Case No. 16-0886 (C.P. Northampton June 3, 2016) Beltrami, J. (6 pages).

Amid bilateral breach of contract allegations, defendant's counterclaim included allegation of negligence. Plaintiff sought demurrer on negligence in preliminary objections. Sustained.

Pa. Mfg. Ass'n Ins. Co. v. Pa. State Univ., PICS Case No. 16-0888 (C.P. Philadelphia June 30, 2016) Glazer, J. (6 pages).

In a continuation of a prior action, defendant The Pennsylvania State University filed a motion to certify an order for interlocutory appeal. Motion denied.

JRW Servs. Grp. v. Camp, PICS Case No. 16-0890 (C.P. Chester July 11, 2016) Tunnell, J. (6 pages).

Post-trial request for legal fees and interest for nonpayment/wrongful withholding of payment allowed under CSPA. Granted in part and denied in part.

Walnut St. 2014-1 v. Pearlstein, PICS Case No. 16-0889 (C.P. Philadelphia July 7, 2016) McInerney, J. (memorandum) (7 pages).

Successor to original lender confessed judgment against owner of commercial enterprise. Petition to open judgment and to stay execution denied.

Horst v. Union Carbide, PICS Case No. 16-0768 (C.P. Lackawanna April 27, 2016) Nealon, J. (71 pages).

Plaintiff in mesothelioma lawsuit survived summary judgment on most counts due to extensive experience and detailed testimony, matched with careful and extensive case law review on the part of the court. Defendants' motions for summary judgment granted in part and denied in part.

In re Krain, PICS Case No. 16-0887 (Pa. June 10, 2016) per curiam (14 pages).

Lawyer suspended for over four years failed to demonstrate he had met the qualifications for reinstatement. Petition for reinstatement denied.