This Week's Cases

Atlantic Community Bankers Bank, Inc. v. Daniels, PICS Case No. 15-0450 (Pa. Super. March 18, 2015) (memorandum) Jenkins, J. (23 pages).

The trial court properly enjoined plaintiffs from prosecuting defendants before the American Arbitration Association since plaintiffs' unjust enrichment and New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act claims did not arise out of plaintiffs' employment agreements, which contained an arbitration clause. Affirmed.

Flenke v. Huntington, PICS Case No. 15-0446 (Pa. Super. March 17, 2015) Stabile, J. (14 pages).

The court ruled that additional evidence of appellee-defendant's expert witness' financial incentives to provide a biased and favorable opinion for appellee was properly admitted. Judgment affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Capaldi, PICS Case No. 15-0452 (Pa. Super. March 17, 2015) Stabile, J. (7 pages).

Defendant's post-sentence motion for nunc pro tunc relief did not toll his appeal period where the trial court may have impliedly granted his nunc pro tunc request, but did not expressly do so. Appeal quashed.

Commonwealth v. Carter, PICS Case No 15-0443 (Pa. Super. March 19, 2015) Ford Elliott, P.J. (8 pages).

The court ruled that it was not erroneous for the trial court to permit expert testimony regarding children's response to sexual assault, where the expert testified generally to how children respond to sexual assault and why they delay in reporting assault. Judgment of sentence affirmed.

In re Adoption of C.D.R., PICS Case No. 15-0448 (Pa. Super. March 17, 2015) Stabile, J. (16 pages).

Involuntary termination of mother's parental rights was proper where mother's repeated incarceration, inconsistent participation in CYS services, and apparent abandonment of reunification efforts demonstrated an inability for mother to remedy her incapacity to parent. Order of the trial court affirmed.

Gurley v. Janssen Pharm., Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0447 (Pa. Super. March 16, 2015) Platt, J. (22 pages).

The court ruled that appellants' state-law failure to warn of risk claim was not preempted by federal pharmaceutical manufacture regulations. Judgment affirmed.

Robinson v. LLEM Corp., PICS Case No. 15-0442 (Pa. Super. March 12, 2015) (memorandum) Olson, J. (13 pages).

Trial court properly found against appellant in quiet title action based on deeds in lieu of foreclosure. Affirmed.

Miller v. Absolute Realty LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0455 (Pa. Super. March 17, 2015) (memorandum) Lazarus, J. (11 pages).

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in instructing the jury, in the wording of the jury verdict form and in providing documents in response to a jury question in house buyer's action against realty company and real estate agent. Affirmed

Wygant v. Gen. Elec. Co., PICS Case No. 15-0443 (Pa. Super. March 19, 2015) Bowes, J. (15 pages).

Statute of Limitations • Wrongful Death • Asbestos-Related Cases

In re Perelman, PICS Case No. 15-0439 (Pa. Super. March 17, 2015) Wecht, J. (26 pages).

Discovery • Standing • Charitable Trusts

Estate of Cherry, PICS Case No. 15-0445 (Pa. Super. March 17, 2015) Wecht, J. (14 pages).

Probate • Injunction of Sale of Personal or Real Property • Interlocutory Appeal

Commonwealth v. Thompson, PICS Case No. 15-0444 (Pa. Commw. March 12, 2015) Colins, J. (8 pages).

Disturbing the Peace • Unconstitutionally Vague Statute • Notice of Prohibited Conduct

Pittsburgh v. Fraternal Order of Police, PICS Case No. 15-0313 (Pa. Commw. March 12, 2015) Leavitt, J. (13 pages).

Collective Bargaining Agreements • Act 111 Grievance • Arbitrator's Jurisdiction

Ebersole v. Southeastern Pa. Transp. Auth., PICS Case No. 15-0440 (Pa. Commw. March 12, 2015) Leavitt, J. (12 pages).

Wrongful Death • Non-Pecuniary Losses • Sovereign Immunity Act

Commonwealth v. Mara, PICS Case No. 15-0463 (C.P. Monroe Dec. 26, 2014) Zulick, J. (11 pages).

Bankruptcy • Default Judgment • Service of Process

Commonwealth v. Savage, PICS Case No. 15-0460 (C.P. Lehigh Jan. 28, 2015) Ford, J. (11 pages).

Motor Vehicles • Homicide By Vehicle • Involuntary Manslaughter • Reckless Endangerment

Commonwealth v. Quinn, PICS Case No. 15-0467 (C.P. Lehigh Jan. 2, 2015) Steinberg, J. (18 pages).

Motor Vehicles • Search and Seizure • Miranda Warnings

Commonwealth v. Evans, PICS Case No. 15-0469 (C.P. Lawrence Feb. 20, 2015) Piccione, J. (19 pages).

Search and Seizure • Avoiding Apprehension • Careless/Reckless Driving • CDS

Clavell v. Brown, PICS Case No. 15-0462 (C.P. Monroe Nov. 25, 2014) Zulick, J. (6 pages).

Corporate Negligence • Employer Liability

Kepner v. Kepner, PICS Case No. 15-0464 (C.P. Monroe Feb. 5, 2015) Williamson, J. (7 pages).

Contracts • Breach • Intentional Misrepresentation • Fraud

Wilson v. Secretary, Pa. Dep't of Corrections, PICS Case No. 15-0473 (3d Cir. March 16, 2015) Hardiman, J. (18 pages).

As a matter of first impression, the district court had jurisdiction to adjudicate a Rule 60(b) motion after a petitioner was issued a writ of habeas corpus and did not err in requiring the petitioner to exhaust in state court the new speedy trial claims raised therein. Judgment affirmed.

Harrison v. DelGuerico's Wrecking & Salvage Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0472 (E.D. Pa. March 18, 2015) Kelly, J. (11 pages).

Plaintiff, who identified company workers who allegedly worked more than 40 hours per week for defendant, met burden for conditional certification of collective action for failure to pay overtime. Motion granted.

Jodlowska v. Soar Corp., PICS Case No. 15-0470 (E.D. Pa. March 17, 2015) Bartle, J. (9 pages).

In an employment case in which issues are not novel or legally complex, a court can reduce attorney fees it awards to the prevailing party 50 percent as a result of overstaffing and 10 percent for partial success. Motion for attorney fees in the amount of $135,900 granted.

Immordino v. Bucks Cnty. Community College, PICS Case No. 15-0471 (E.D. Pa. March 18, 2015) Hart, J. (11 pages).

A court can reduce the amount of fees awarded to a prevailing party as a result of overstaffing and partial success. Attorney fees of $135,880 awarded to plaintiff who prevailed on wrongful-discharge count.

Nationwide Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co. v. Shearer, PICS Case No. 15-0432 (W.D. Pa. March 13, 2015) McVerry, S.J. (23 pages).

Where there was no pending parallel state proceeding in this insurance coverage dispute, the court exercised discretionary jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act, and despite a three-year gap between timely reservation of rights letters and commencement of this action and no showing of actual prejudice by the policyholders, the insurer was not estopped from denying coverage. Insurer's motion for summary judgment granted, policyholders motion denied, and declaratory judgment issued.

Begley v. Rhoads & Sinon LLP, PICS Case No. 15-0453 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) (memorandum) Panella, J. (8 pages).

Wills • Third Part Beneficiary • Standing • Attorney/Client Relationship

Li v. Beulah Presbyterian Church, PICS Case No. 15-0398 (Pa. Super. March 10, 2015) (memorandum) Donohue, J. (14 pages).

The trial court erred in finding, based upon the assumption of risk doctrine, that defendants had no duty to protect plaintiff against the typical risks of roller skating. Vacated in part and remanded.

Hancock v. Friends Hosp., PICS Case No. 15-0408 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) (memorandum) Allen, J. (14 pages).

A hospital enjoyed immunity under the Mental Health Procedures Act where appellant was observed, treated, and discharged in hospital's emergency room by mental health personnel. Summary judgment affirmed.

Waterbucket Media, LLC v. Nat'l High Sch. Coaches Ass'n, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-0402 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) (memorandum) Allen, J. (14 pages).

The trial court properly found that as the only entity capable of enforcing its rights pursuant to a working agreement with defendant, the plaintiff limited liability company was a real party in interest to this action which had standing to sue defendant. Affirmed.

Muller v. Aquatic and Fitness Ctr., PICS Case No. 15-0310 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) (memorandum) Allen, J. (16 pages).

The trial court did not err in granting defendants, a gym and personal trainer, summary judgment where the contracts plaintiff executed included exculpatory language which expressed that plaintiff was relieving defendants of any and all liability regarding any acts or omissions. Affirmed.

Silver v. Porsche of Main Line, PICS Case No. 15-0401 (Pa. Super. March 10, 2015) (memorandum) Mundy, J. (20 pages).

Where the parties' fully integrated, written purchase order contract contained an "as is" clause, which barred the introduction of parol evidence of pre-contract representations, the trial court did not err in sustaining defendants' preliminary objections to plaintiff's complaint alleging fraudulent misrepresentations. Affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Gonzalez, PICS Case No. 15-0411 (Pa. Super. March 11, 2015) Stabile, J. (17 pages).

Trial court properly convicted and sentenced appellant to an aggregate term of 30 to 60 years in prison for rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and other related offenses after it allowed evidence of appellant's assaults on his wife and there were no grounds for a mistrial in the handling of a juror's fainting in court. Affirmed.

Commonwealth v. Reyes-Rodriguez, PICS Case No. 15-0412 (Pa. Super. March 11, 2015) Stabile, J. (17 pages).

Court properly denied appellant's PCRA petition because all of appellant's claims failed at least one of the prongs of the Pierce test. Affirmed.

D.J.C. v. K.E., PICS Case No. 15-0404 (Pa. Super. March 6, 2015) (memorandum) Ford Elliott, J. (8 pages).

Appellant could not petition to establish his paternity of child where there was an irrebuttable presumption of paternity in child's mother's husband where child was born after mother and husband's marriage. Order of the trial court affirmed.

Brown v. Trinidad, PICS Case No. 15-0410 ( Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) Lazarus, J. (16 pages).

Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law • "Serious Injury" • Late Identified Witness

Rowe v. Cairn Holdings, LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0400 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) Wecht, J. (12 pages).

Pre-Trial Procedure • Service of Process • Timeliness • Good Faith Effort

Gaydos v. Carpenter, PICS Case No. 15-0407 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015) (memorandum) Shogan, J. (12 pages).

Sale of Professional Practice • Failure to Disclose Administrative Proceedings • Collateral Estoppel • Appealability • Collateral Order Doctrine

E. Coast Paving & Sealcoating, Inc. v. North Allegheny Sch. Dist., PICS Case No. 15-0406 (Pa. Commw. March 6, 2015) Leavitt, J. (23 pages).

Breach by Withholding of Payment • Condition Precedent • Change Order • CASPA • Prompt Pay Act

Discovery Charter Sch. v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia, PICS Case No. 15-0403 (Pa. Commw. March 10, 2015) Colins, J. (13 pages).

Charter School Law • Amendment of School Charter • Failure/Refusal to Act on Request for Amendment • Enrollment Cap

In re Gen. Election 2014, PICS Case No. 15-0413 (Pa. Commw. March 11, 2015) Pellegrini, P.J. (16 pages).

Emergency Application • Absentee Ballots • Voter Registration

Szablowski v. Pa. Liquor Control Bd., PICS Case No. 15-0405 (Pa. Commw. March 11, 2015) Leavitt, J. (24 pages).

Termination • Violation of Policies • Reversed Findings • Suspicion of Improper Conduct

Collazo v. Mount Airy #1, PICS Case No. 15-0421 (C.P. Monroe Jan. 16, 2015) Zulick, J. (7 pages).

Free Speech • Due Process • Discrimination • Casino

Commonwealth v. Heaney, PICS Case No. 15-04525 (C.P. Lawrence Feb. 23, 2015) Motto, P.J. (15 pages).

Right to Counsel • Joint Representation • Conflicts of Interest

DeMaria v. Rusbasan, PICS Case No. 15-0433 (C.P. Monroe Jan. 13, 2015) Zulick, J. (12 pages).

Wrongful Termination • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress • Punitive Damages • Jurisdiction

Cigar Factory Condo Ass'n v. Cigar Factory Partners, PICS Case No 15-0388 (C.P. Philadelphia Feb. 18, 2015) Wright Padilla, J. (7 pages).

Alternative Dispute Resolution • Condominium Fees • Motions to Open/Strike Default Judgments

Brice v. River Rock Creative Grp., Inc. PICS Case No. 15-0422 (C.P. Monroe Jan. 12, 2015) Higgins, J. (7 pages).

Piercing the Corporate Veil • Consumer Protection • Undercapitalization

Graphic Styles/Styles Int'l LLC v. Men's Wear Creations, PICS Case No. 15-0428 (E.D. Pa. March 12, 2015) Beetlestone, J. (9 pages).

A plaintiff that seeks to sue an international defendant is required to follow the specific procedures in the Hague Convention to effectuate service of process and is not entitled to serve process via international certified mail, e-mail or Facebook

Mathis v Christian Heating and Air Conditioning, PICS Case No. 15-0430 (E.D. Pa. March 12, 2015) DuBois, J.(11 pages).

Where plaintiff previously had been barred by collateral estoppel from relitigating issues essential to his employment discrimination claims, the court applied 43 P.S. §829 de novo to reverse that finding. Motion for clarification, treated as a motion for reconsideration, was granted and motion to dismiss denied in its entirety.

Lawyers Funding Grp., LLC v. White, PICS Case No. 15-0429 (E.D. Pa. March 3, 2015) Surrick, J. (18 pages).

While not signatories thereto, attorneys' connection to and involvement with client's litigation financing purchase agreement with plaintiff operated as implicit acquiescence to be bound by to the agreement's forum selection clause and attorney fee provision. Motion to dismiss granted and denied in part.

E.C. v. Sch. Dist. of Phila., PICS Case No. 15-0431 (E.D. Pa. March 4, 2015) Tucker, J. (27 pages).

Prevailing Party • Attorney Fee Recovery • Prevailing Market Rates

Cooper v. Pottstown Hosp. Co. LLC, PICS Case No. 15-0427 (E.D. Pa. March 12, 2015) Shapiro, J. (9 pages).

Absent proof that a hospital compensated a surgeon in excess of fair market value, in exchange for, or to induce Medicare or Medicaid patient referrals, the surgeon may not be able to prevail on his claim that the Anti-Kickback statute was violated. Hospital's motion to dismiss qui tam action granted.