HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania's Superior Court panel on Jan. 17 found that a hospital was entitled to limited immunity under Pennsylvania's Mental Health Procedure Act (MHPA) but said that immunity is moot because a woman who sued the hospital after her suicidal daughter was allowed to leave the hospital without being stopped brought claims that could be seen as gross negligence by the jury (Susan M. Martin v. Holy Spirit Hospital, No. 311 MDA 2016, Pa. Super.; 2017 PA Super. LEXIS 32).
PHILADELPHIA - Bifurcating and staying bad faith claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit would not be convenient for the parties, prejudice an insurer or economize the litigation, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Jan. 18 in denying the insurer's motion (Eizen Fineburg & McCarthy P.C. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-2461, E.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6985).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Jan. 17 in a single opinion vacated orders denying class certification in two substantially similar complaints alleging that oil and gas leases were breached and payments were never made, finding that the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motions (Lucinda A. Cardinale, et al. v. R.E. Gas Development, LLC, et al., No. 1186 WDA 2015, Mary R. Billotte, et al. v. R.E. Gas Development, LLC, et al., No. 1187 WDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 34).
PHILADELPHIA - A month after a Pennsylvania federal judge granted final approval of a settlement in a class action alleging unfair trade practices related to the paid reviews feature on Angie's List Inc.'s website, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted dismissal of an objector's appeal of that settlement after it was voluntarily withdrawn (Janell Moore, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., No. 16-4430, 3rd Cir.)
PHILADELPHIA - A month after a Pennsylvania federal judge granted final approval of a settlement in a class action alleging unfair trade practices related to the paid reviews feature on Angie's List Inc.'s website, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted dismissal of an objector's appeal of that settlement after it was voluntarily withdrawn on Jan. 13 (Janell Moore, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., No. 16-4430, 3rd Cir.)
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 12 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insured has pleaded sufficient evidence to support the claim (Robert Hughes v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-2240, M.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4852).
PHILADELPHIA - Surviving beneficiaries of a Merchant Marine's Jones Act survival action originally filed in 1989 should not be penalized simply because the court lacked the resources to quickly resolve asbestos cases, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Jan. 6 (Creighton E. Miller (administrator for estate of Joseph F. Braun v. Manville Corporation Asbestos Disease Compensation Fund, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-33896, E.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1975).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 4 dismissed claims by a generic drug manufacturer that Indivior Inc. engaged in anti-competitive behavior by delaying the introduction of a generic version of the opioid treatment drug Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) but allowed the plaintiff to refile its false advertising claims (In Re: Suboxone [Buprenorphine Hydrochloride and Naloxone] Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2445, No. 13-md-2445, Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Indivior Inc., No. 16-563, E.D. Pa.).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Jan. 3 stayed an insurer's suit seeking a declaration that it is responsible for only a portion of a $4 million judgment entered against its insureds in an underlying suit alleging injuries as a result of exposure to lead paint in the insureds' rental property after determining that federal abstention is warranted because a state court suit filed by the underlying plaintiffs against the insurer turns on the same question of law (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Stewart J. Levitas, et al., No. 16-2060, D. Md.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 3 concluded that the operator of a Poconos resort had no justification for not timely submitting video surveillance discovery in a personal injury suit, but because he found the failure to have not been in bad faith, the judge stopped short of granting the plaintiffs' motion to strike use of the surveillance materials at trial (Brian Perez, et al. v. Great Wolf Lodge of the Poconos LLC, et al., No. 3:12-cv-01322, M.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 308)
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Over the objections of an insurer, a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 20 granted a third party's motion to amend her counterclaim against another third party in an interpleader action, ruling that amendment will be allowed because the amendment will be used only to clarify claims already made and not to add new material (MONY Life Insurance Co. v. Carol Snyder, f/k/a Carol Eckert, and Pamela Eckert, No. 15-2109, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175414).
DALLAS - A Texas state jury on Dec. 16 found that a nursing home and hospital were not responsible for the death of an elderly woman whose family filed a wrongful death and negligence suit after she developed bed sores and died from pneumonia (Greg Frausto v. Pennsylvania Rehab LP., et al., No. DC-12-13131, Texas, 68th Jud. Dist., Dallas Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on Dec. 14 to approve the allowance of nearly $140 million in claims from various state insurance guaranty associations (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 9 granted final approval of a settlement of a consolidated complaint accusing Shop-Vac Corp., Lowe's Home Centers Inc. and Lowe's HIW Inc. of misrepresenting certain features of wet/dry vacuums (In Re: Shop-Vac Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 12-2380, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170841).
PHILADELPHIA - A former employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) argues in a Dec. 7 brief in Pennsylvania federal court that his bid for certification of a class of Coke employees whose personally identifying information (PII) is appropriate, contending that his proposed classes meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - Dismissal an insured's bad faith claim against his insurer for failure to pay uninsured motorist benefits pursuant to an automobile insurance policy is proper because the insured failed to state any factual allegations to support his bad faith claim, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Dec. 5 (Vincent Talotta v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-5557, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167248).
SCRANTON, Pa. - In a negligence lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 5 declined to exclude medical testimony on a man's history of neck pain and how any exacerbation of the neck would have resolved itself in a matter of months because any disagreement can be addressed through cross-examination (Daniel Broe and Heidi Broe v. Steven Manns, No. 15-985, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167593).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment on an insured's claim for insurance bad faith in a homeowners insurance dispute, ruling that the insured failed to show that the insurer's actions during the investigation and subsequent issuance of an estimate and revised estimates rise to the level of bad faith under Pennsylvania law (Joan Yatsonsky v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 15-1777, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167224).
ERIE, Pa. - In a Dec. 2 reply brief supporting their motion for class certification, a Wyoming couple, who unknowingly purchased a laptop with spyware installed on it, tells a Pennsylvania federal court that their complaint against the laptop seller for violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) merits class treatment because of "the ability to answer predominating common questions in a uniform manner" in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).