LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Crane Manufacturer Escapes Asbestos-Brake Exposure Case In Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Evidence in an asbestos case falls short of demonstrating sufficient exposure from brakes on a manufacturer's cranes, a Pennsylvania appeals court held March 16 (Norman J. Sterling and Laura M. Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment Inc., a/k/a Joy Global Surface Mining Inc., No. 1006 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3rd Circuit: Doctor Lacks Standing In Fracking Fluids Disclosure Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 16 affirmed a lower court's decision and held that a doctor who sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania seeking information about the content of hydraulic fracturing fluids lacked standing to bring the action because he failed to demonstrate standing (Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez M.D. v. Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, et al., No. 14-3467, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4126).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Court Affirms $11.6M Topamax Birth Defect Judgment, Denies Preemption

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals panel on March 16 affirmed an $11.65 million Topamax birth defect verdict, rejecting arguments by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. that the plaintiffs' failure-to-warn claims are preempted by federal law (Brayden Gurley, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 239 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2015 Pa. Super. LEXIS 112).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Confirms Chinese Award In Dispute Over Alumina Shipments

PITTSBURGH - After finding that a resource company failed to submit evidence as to why a Chinese arbitral award should not be confirmed, a Pennsylvania federal judge on March 13 granted summary judgment enforcing the award in favor of a mineral company in a dispute over a shipment of alumina (Calbex Mineral Limited v. ACC Resources Co. L.P., No. 13-276, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31105).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Crane Manufacturer Escapes Asbestos-Brake Exposure Case In Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Evidence in an asbestos case falls short of demonstrating sufficient exposure from brakes on a manufacturer's cranes, a Pennsylvania appeals court held March 16 (Norman J. Sterling and Laura M. Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment Inc., a/k/a Joy Global Surface Mining Inc., No. 1006 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Coverage Barred For Claims Arising Out Of Sewage Discharge, Federal Judge Says

PITTSBURGH - An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a number of its policyholders against underlying claims arising from the discharge of raw sewage onto the land of other property owners because the policyholders did not dispute the carrier's argument that coverage is barred pursuant to the policies' exclusions for pollution liability and biological deterioration, a Pennsylvania federal judge said March 13 (Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al. v. Randy Shearer, et al., No. 14-735, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31126).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Coverage Barred For Claims Arising Out Of Sewage Discharge, Federal Judge Says

PITTSBURGH - An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a number of its policyholders against underlying claims arising from the discharge of raw sewage onto the land of other property owners because the policyholders did not dispute the carrier's argument that coverage is barred pursuant to the policies' exclusions for pollution liability and biological deterioration, a Pennsylvania federal judge said March 13 (Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al. v. Randy Shearer, et al., No. 14-735, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31126).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Cleaning Company Franchisees Granted Certification In Wage Class Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 11 granted certification to a class of cleaning company franchisees who claim that they were misclassified and are actually employees (Pamela Myers, et al. v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, Inc., et al., No. 09-1738, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29566).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Cleaning Company Franchisees Granted Certification In Wage Class Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 11 granted certification to a class of cleaning company franchisees who claim that they were misclassified and are actually employees (Pamela Myers, et al. v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, Inc., et al., No. 09-1738, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29566).

Mealey's Insurance - Coverage Barred For Claims Arising Out Of Sewage Discharge, Federal Judge Says

PITTSBURGH - An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a number of its policyholders against underlying claims arising from the discharge of raw sewage onto the land of other property owners because the policyholders did not dispute the carrier's argument that coverage is barred pursuant to the policies' exclusions for pollution liability and biological deterioration, a Pennsylvania federal judge said March 13 (Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al. v. Randy Shearer, et al., No. 14-735, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31126).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Wants To Know If Thalidomide Plaintiff Voluntarily Dismissed Case

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 11 ordered a special master to report on whether a thalidomide plaintiff represented by Hagen Berman Shapiro in Seattle "knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently consented to dismissing with prejudice her claims against all Defendants" (Glenda Johnson, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 11-5782, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fracking Company: Ordinance Banning Injection Wells Is 'Patently Illegal'

PITTSBURGH - A hydraulic fracturing company that filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania municipality challenging its ordinance that bans underground injection control (UIC) wells on March 12 filed a brief seeking a preliminary injunction precluding the municipality from enforcing what the fracking company refers to as a "patently illegal township ordinance" (Seneca Resources Corporation v. Highland Township, Elk County, Pa., et al., No. 15-00060, W.D. Pa.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge OKs Sanctions Against Hagens Berman For 'Dishonest' Thalidomide Cases

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 9 adopted a special master's recommendation that the plaintiff law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle be sanctioned for its "dishonest" prosecution of three thalidomide cases that evidence showed were time-barred or unfounded (Glenda Johnson, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 11-5782, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28210).

Mealey's Insurance - Bad Faith Claim Not Recognized In Pennsylvania, Federal Judge Rules

SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 4 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to dismiss a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that dismissal of the bad faith claim is proper because that claim is not recognized in Pennsylvania (Joseph Cicon, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 14-2187, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25780).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Suit In Pennsylvania Court Alleges Defective Part Caused Fatal Army Copter Crash

PHILADELPHIA - A suit filed March 3 in state court in Pennsylvania alleges that defects in an Army helicopter caused a crash during an exercise in Afghanistan, killing one serviceman and severely injuring a second (Jonathon Kohl, et al. v. Triumph Group Inc., March Term, 2015, No. 000354, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Breach Of Warranty Claim, Judge Concludes

PHILADELPHIA - An insurer owes no duty to an insured to defend or indemnify it against a breach of warranty claim arising from an underlying construction defects lawsuit filed by homeowners, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 3 (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Brighton Exteriors Inc., No. 14-03987, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25712).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Remands Family's Dispute Over Flood Insurance Proceeds

PHILADELPHIA - Finding that the remaining state law claims of conversion and unjust enrichment in a flood coverage dispute do not confer federal question jurisdiction, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 26 remanded the case to state court (Vincent J. Imbrenda Sr., et al. v. Santander Bank N.A., et al., No. 14-6103, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23150).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Company Had Proper Permits; Nitrogen Oxide Contamination Case Dismissed

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 23 dismissed a complaint filed by an environmental watchdog against an oil and gas company, ruling that the company had the proper permits to operate wells despite the claim that those wells released nitrogen oxide into the environment (Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future v. Ultra Resources Inc., No. 11-1360, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21357).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Won't Review Expert Exclusions In Denture Cream Case

PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Feb. 19 declined to hear an appeal by a denture cream injury plaintiff whose causation experts were excluded (Mark A. Jacoby v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 126 EAL 2014, Pa. Sup., Eastern Dist.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. Supreme Court Denies Cert In Suit Over Section 1983 Age Bias Claim

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied writ of certiorari in an appeal over whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the exclusive remedy for age bias in employment (Anthony Hildebrand v. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, et al., No. 14-363, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Subrogated Insurer's Professional Negligence Claim Fails, Judge Says

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 20 dismissed a subrogated insurer's professional negligence claim against a contractor regarding water damage arising from a fire sprinkler system installed by the contractor (Insurance Company of Greater New York, as subrogee of Five Star Hotels LLC d/b/a Holiday Inn Parkway East v. Fire Fighter Sales & Service Co., No. 11-1078, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20531).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Won't Review Expert Exclusions In Denture Cream Case

PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Feb. 19 declined to hear an appeal by a denture cream injury plaintiff whose causation experts were excluded (Mark A. Jacoby v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 126 EAL 2014, Pa. Sup., Eastern Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fracking Company: Enforcement Of Injection Well Ordinance Should Be Prevented

PITTSBURGH - A hydraulic fracturing company on Feb. 18 filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania municipality in Pennsylvania federal court, arguing that the municipality should be prevented from enforcing an ordinance which "illegally" purports to ban otherwise properly permitted and regulated underground injection control (UIC) wells used for the disposal of natural gas brines (Seneca Resources Corporation v. Highland Township, et al., No. 15-60, W.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania, Citgo Reach Deal To Dismiss Some MTBE Claims, Letter Says

NEW YORK - The attorney for two of the defendants in the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) products litigation on Feb. 18 sent a letter to the judge presiding over the case indicating that the parties had agreed upon a dismissal of those defendants (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 001898, MDL 1358, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 14-06228, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator Of Insolvent Insurer Asks For Permission To Settle With Reinsurer

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on Feb. 17 to approve a $6.5 million commutation of a reinsurance agreement (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).