PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 14 granted summary judgment in favor of an employer in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a former employee finding that employee's severance agreement included a bar on participation in a class or collective action (Jonathan Kubischta, et al. v. Schlumberger Tech Corp., No. 15-1338, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91556).
PHILADELPHIA - A power company that was sued by a group of Pennsylvania residents who contend that it is liable for their injuries, including cancer, that stem from exposure to radioactive materials filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15, arguing that it should let stand a lower court's summary judgment ruling in the company's favor because the plaintiffs lack admissible evidence of specific causation (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc., No. 15-3506 [consolidated], 3rd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Tylenol multidistrict litigation on July 14 denied a defense motion to exclude a key study from the plaintiff's case in the first bellwether trial and excluded testimony by defense experts who criticized the reliability of the study (In Re: Tylenol [Acetaminophen] Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2436, No. 13-md-2436, E.D. Pa. 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92334).
PHILADELPHIA - A company cannot be held liable for asbestos-containing products it did not manufacturer, supply or mandate, Crane Co. told a federal judge in Pennsylvania July 13 in looking to upset a more than $1 million verdict against it (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on July 12 announced that its Bureau of Safe Drinking Water will oversee and work with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) in response to test results that indicate that the levels of lead and copper in the city's drinking water require remediation.
PHILADELPHIA - Although insureds did not exercise reasonable care in maintaining heat to prevent pipes from freezing in their home while they were away, a question of fact exists as to whether the insureds' home was unoccupied when the loss occurred, a Pennsylvania federal judge said July 7 (Joseph Jugan, et al. v. Economy Premier Assurance Co., No. 15-4272, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87876).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 11 awarded summary judgment to two lawyers accused of civil conspiracy, finding that Church Mutual Insurance Co. failed to present sufficient evidence that the attorneys agreed with other defendants to pursue fraudulent claims and that they acted with malice (Church Mutual Insurance Company v. Alliance Adjustment Group, et al., No. 15-461, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89194).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on July 6 for approval of an agreement under which a reinsurer will make direct payments of claims to the insolvent insurer's insured (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Finding that genuine issues of fact remain as to the cause of homeowners' water damage, a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 7 declined to grant summary judgment to an insurer based on exclusions for defective construction, seepage, neglect or known loss doctrine (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Jonathan Drenocky and Deborah Drenocky, No. 15-762, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87711).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on July 6 to approve the liquidator's recommendation that a reinsurer be allowed to make direct payments to one of the insolvent insurer's insureds (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
PITTSBURGH - Under Pennsylvania law, commercial general liability insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify insureds for a negligent performance of contract claim arising out of alleged faulty workmanship, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled June 30 (Peerless Insurance Co. and Ohio Security Insurance Co. v. Manown Builders, et al., No. 15-281, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85261).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on July 1 awarded $70 million to a man who says Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. failed to warn that its Risperdal atypical antipsychotic drug can cause gynecomastia, according to plaintiff attorneys (A.Y. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, No. 130402094, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Dismissal of an insurance bad faith claim is proper, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled June 22, because the executrix of an estate has failed to show that an insurer acted in bad faith in denying her claim to benefits under a life insurance policy (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 34371).
PITTSBURGH - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because the lead plaintiff in the action has properly pleaded a material misrepresentation or omission, scienter and loss causation, the lead plaintiff argues in a June 20 opposition brief filed in Pennsylvania federal court (James Martin v. GNC Holdings Inc., et al., No. 15-1522, W.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge approved a stipulation June 14 allowing insurers to proceed with their claim against the parent company of Chapter 11 debtor Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) for contribution or indemnification in a Louisiana state court asbestos premises liability action (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH - Because the materials sought via discovery from certain reporters by a defamation suit plaintiff do not pertain to confidential sources, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on June 15 held that its disclosure would not violate the journalist's privilege under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Dominick D. DiPaolo v. Times Publishing Co., et al., No. 1713 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 323).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 15 rejected Crane Co.' argument that settlements left it with zero liability for an asbestos verdict, saying precedent permits offsets only for settling parties found liable at trial and that the offsets cannot reduce a verdict below the amount awarded by a jury (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania residents who won a $4.24 million verdict against a hydraulic fracturing company for groundwater contamination on June 14 filed a brief in a district court, opposing the company's motion for judgment as a matter of law, new trial or remittitur on grounds that it is "smarting from a humiliating defeat," and it seeks "to wipe out the reasoned decision" that was handed down against it (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on June 9 ruled that PPG Industries Inc. can pursue claims for contribution under state law and under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) from a third party but that it could not pursue claims for cost recovery and indemnification (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75402).
PHILADELPHIA - Comcast Corp., T-Mobile USA Inc. and Google Inc. were ordered by a Pennsylvania federal judge on June 7 to respond to a transportation firm's verified petition seeking pre-action discovery related to learning the identity of an unknown individual that purportedly stole the firm's trade secrets (Estes Forwarding Worldwide LLC v. Comcast Corp., No. 2:16-mc-00132, E.D. Pa.).