LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Bankruptcy - Geo. V. Hamilton Continues Plan Discussions With Asbestos Claimants

PITTSBURGH - Negotiations between Chapter 11 debtor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. and asbestos claimants on the company's proposed plan of reorganization continue, with the parties scheduled to file a report on their progress within a week, according to a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge's Nov. 17 minute order (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, E.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - Pa. High Court Denies Review Of Ruling On $1M Claim Against Insurance Guarantor

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 16 declined to review a lower court's vacating of a trial court finding that a $1 million default judgment claim against the state's insurance guarantor was time-barred (James Green v. Pennsylvania Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 256 WAL 2017, Pa. Sup., 2017 Pa. LEXIS 2995).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith By Only Paying For A Portion Of Floor Replacement

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 15 dismissed a bad faith claim alleged against a homeowners insurer after determining that the insureds failed to prove that the insurer acted unreasonably by paying for only a portion of the insureds' kitchen floor following a flood at the insureds' home (Steven Barnwell et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-4739, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188427).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Boiler, Furnace Companies, Supply Houses Secure Verdict In Pa. Asbestos Trial

SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania jury on Nov. 15 returned a defense verdict for a handful of boiler and furnace manufacturers and parts supply houses, finding that the asbestos-containing products in question were not unreasonably dangerous and that none of the five defendants acted negligently (Diane Horst, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 15 CV 1903, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lackawanna Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Boiler, Furnace Companies, Supply Houses Secure Verdict In Pa. Asbestos Trial

SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania jury on Nov. 15 returned a defense verdict for a handful of boiler and furnace manufacturers and parts supply houses, finding that the asbestos-containing products in question were not unreasonably dangerous and that none of the five defendants acted negligently (Diane Horst, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 15 CV 1903, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lackawanna Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Court Affirms No Coverage For Student's Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Teacher

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Nov. 14 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a music teacher against a student's lawsuit alleging sexual assault (Old Republic Insurance Company v. Matthew Stevens, et al., No. 1903 MDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4188).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Panel: Employee Fired For Pro-Trump Tweet Wrongly Denied Unemployment Benefits

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appellate panel on Nov. 13 found that an employee's tweet, which led to her dismissal, did not violate her employer's social media policy and, thus, did not constitute willful misconduct to disqualify her from receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits (Waverly Heights Ltd. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 312 CD 2017, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Objections To Insurer's Discovery Requests Overruled In Dispute Over Employee Theft

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate on Nov. 14 granted an insurer's motion to overrule objections to its request for the production of documents in a coverage dispute arising from the alleged theft of an insured's employee stock ownership plan assets by a former employee (Barbie Spear, in her capacity as trustee of the Alliance Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Alliance Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Plaintiffs v. Westfield Insurance Company, No. 15-00582, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188193).

Mealey's Insurance - Denial Of LTD Claim Supported By Evidence, Pennsylvania Federal Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 13 denied a disability claimant's motion for summary judgment and granted a disability plan's motion for summary judgment after determining that the plan's denial of the claim for long-term disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the denial is supported by the evidence (Karen O'Conner v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. et al., No. 15-5051, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186692).

Mealey's Insurance - Objections To Insurer's Discovery Requests Overruled In Dispute Over Employee Theft

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate on Nov. 14 granted an insurer's motion to overrule objections to its request for the production of documents in a coverage dispute arising from the alleged theft of an insured's employee stock ownership plan assets by a former employee (Barbie Spear, in her capacity as trustee of the Alliance Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Alliance Holdings, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Plaintiffs v. Westfield Insurance Company, No. 15-00582, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188193).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Panel: Employee Fired For Pro-Trump Tweet Wrongly Denied Unemployment Benefits

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appellate panel on Nov. 13 found that an employee's tweet, which led to her dismissal, did not violate her employer's social media policy and, thus, did not constitute willful misconduct to disqualify her from receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits (Waverly Heights Ltd. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 312 CD 2017, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Extends Deadline On Class Certification Motion To Allow Discovery Completion

PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 9 granted a joint stipulation and order to extend deadlines pertaining to a class certification motion to allow homeowners to complete relevant discovery and document production (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Risperdal Gynecomastia Defense Verdict Reversed On Appeal For 'Expert' Testimony

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals court panel on Nov. 13 reversed a Risperdal gynecomastia defense verdict, finding that the trial court erred in not treating physician assistant's testimony as that of a causation expert (W.C. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 2451 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 909).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Extends Deadline On Class Certification Motion To Allow Discovery Completion

PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 9 granted a joint stipulation and order to extend deadlines pertaining to a class certification motion to allow homeowners to complete relevant discovery and document production (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Partially Certifies Class Alleging Deficient Credit Monitoring

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 13 partially certified a class of consumers suing a retailer and the company that issues the retailer's private-label credit cards for allegedly profiting from a deficient credit-monitoring service, finding that certification is appropriate for class members subject to Delaware law, but not for those subject to Virginia law (Jennifer Underwood, et al. v. Kohl's Department Stores, Inc., et al., No. 15-730, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186927).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Appeals Court: 2 Risperdal Gynecomastia Cases Time-Barred

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Nov. 13 affirmed defense summary judgment in two Risperdal gynecomastia cases, ruling that the plaintiffs reasonably should have known that their alleged injuries were caused by the drug before they filed suit a minimum of six years too late (Jonathan Saksek v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 576 EDA 2015, Joshua Winter v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 590 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4163).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Risperdal Gynecomastia Defense Verdict Reversed On Appeal For 'Expert' Testimony

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals court panel on Nov. 13 reversed a Risperdal gynecomastia defense verdict, finding that the trial court erred in not treating physician assistant's testimony as that of a causation expert (W.C. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 2451 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 909).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Opinions That Accident Led To Death By Painkillers Allowed By Federal Judge

PHILADELPHIA - Three of four doctors offering expert opinions in a wrongful death action can testify that an accident on a U.S. military base caused a man's injuries and subsequent death from taking too many pain medications for the injuries, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Nov. 8, finding the causation opinions reliable enough to be admitted (Robert S. Evans v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-1839, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185563).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Opinions That Accident Led To Death By Painkillers Allowed By Federal Judge

PHILADELPHIA - Three of four doctors offering expert opinions in a wrongful death action can testify that an accident on a U.S. military base caused a man's injuries and subsequent death from taking too many pain medications for the injuries, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Nov. 8, finding the causation opinions reliable enough to be admitted (Robert S. Evans v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-1839, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185563).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Judge Won't Reconsider Judgments After Asbestos-Talc Expert Exclusions

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge considering two companies' motion for reconsideration in light of a ruling excluding plaintiffs' experts in an asbestos-tainted talc case denied the motions without prejudice to the filing of new ones in an order docketed Nov. 7 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Judge Won't Reconsider Judgments After Asbestos-Talc Expert Exclusions

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge considering two companies' motion for reconsideration in light of a ruling excluding plaintiffs' experts in an asbestos-tainted talc case denied the motions without prejudice to the filing of new ones in an order docketed Nov. 7 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Extends Discovery In Fracking Contract Dispute, Approves Inspections

PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 7 extended the deadline for discovery in a hydraulic fracturing contract dispute following a previous ruling in which the judge denied a motion for protective order and a motion to quash that had been filed by a fracking company that sought to prevent inspection of fracking rigs at issue in the litigation (Orion Drilling Company LLC v. EQT Production Company, No. 16-01516, W.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Fabricated Authorization Letter Constituted Fraud, Pennsylvania Appeals Court Finds

PITTSBURGH - A woman was properly convicted for insurance fraud, forgery and theft of property, a Pennsylvania appeals panel ruled Nov. 7, finding that the woman's presentation of a fabricated authorization letter for dental work constituted an attempt to defraud her insurance company (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Amy Lee Palmer, No. 1039 WDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4117).

Mealey's Insurance - Pennsylvania Panel Upholds Woman's Conviction, Sentence For Insurance Fraud

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Nov. 7 overruled a woman's argument that evidence presented during her insurance fraud trial did not support her conviction, holding that the state sufficiently showed an intent to defraud through her false statements to a state trooper during the investigation of a car fire (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Ruth E. Gettel, No. 533 MDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4101).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Judge Won't Reconsider Judgments After Asbestos-Talc Expert Exclusions

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge considering two companies' motion for reconsideration in light of a ruling excluding plaintiffs' experts in an asbestos-tainted talc case denied the motions without prejudice to the filing of new ones in an order docketed Nov. 7 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm Pls., Philadelphia Co.).