LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Risperdal Gynecomastia Cases Barred By Michigan Shield Law, Pennsylvania Panel Says

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals panel on Nov. 28 affirmed the dismissal of 13 Risperdal gynecomastia cases, agreeing with a trial judge that the plaintiffs' claims are preempted by Michigan's drug shield law and that the plaintiffs could not prove that the fraud exception applied to their claims (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, MA.J.L., et al v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 55 EDA 2015, et al., Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 965).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pa.: ACA Birth-Control Mandate Exemptions Provide Injury, Standing For Suit

HARRISBURG, Pa. - New rules expanding moral and religious exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate threaten the health of Pennsylvania women and the commonwealth itself, the state argues in a Nov. 27 brief in support of a preliminary injunction barring the regulations (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-4540, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pa.: ACA Birth-Control Mandate Exemptions Provide Injury, Standing For Suit

HARRISBURG, Pa. - New rules expanding moral and religious exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate threaten the health of Pennsylvania women and the commonwealth itself, the state argues in a Nov. 27 brief in support of a preliminary injunction barring the regulations (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-4540, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Hospital Says Economic Loss Doctrine Bars Data Breach Negligence Claim

PITTSBURGH - In a Nov. 27 brief, a Pittsburgh area hospital asks the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to affirm rulings by a trial and appeals court that a negligence suit brought after a breach of its network is precluded by the economic loss doctrine due to the attenuated nature of the claimed damages, as well as the lack of a statutory duty to provide foolproof protection of electronically stored information (ESI) (Barbara A. Dittman, et al. v. UPMC, et al., No. 43 WAP 2017, Pa. Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - EEOC Wins $55,000 For Employee In Agency's 1st Sexual Orientation Bias Suit

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania pain management and weight loss services provider has been ordered to pay $55,000 in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's first sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit, the EEOC announced Nov. 27 (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Scott Medical Health Center, P.C., No. 16-225, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189577).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Affirms $2 Million Verdict In Medical Negligence Suit

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a Nov. 22 divided opinion affirmed a $2 million verdict in a medical negligence suit after finding that a man who filed a survival action under Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE) against a hospital and a nursing home filed suit within the two-year statute of limitations under the act because the statute of limitations begins at the time of death and not the injury (Robert Dubose v. Willowcrest Nursing Home, et al., No. 21 EAP 2016, Pa. Sup. 2017 Pa. LEXIS 3103).

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).