LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Allows Opinions On Cause Of Fatal Helicopter Crash

PHILADELPHIA - Two engine experts can testify that a defectively designed or manufactured engine part caused a helicopter crash that killed two men because the experts are qualified, their testing is reliable and their conclusions are relevant to the cause of the crash, a Pennsylvania federal judge held May 29 (Pamela Lewis, et al. v. Lycoming Engines, et al., No. 11-6475, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69723).

Mealey's Insurance - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Finds Insured's Evidence Is Admissible At Trial

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 29 denied an insurer's motion to preclude an insured from offering evidence of settlements of underlying asbestos claims after determining that summaries of business records are admissible evidence (General Refractories Company v. First State Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:04-cv-3509, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69727).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurers Ask For Dismissal Of Suit In Favor Of Similar Suit In Another Court

PHILADELPHIA - A pair of reinsurers argued in a federal court in Pennsylvania on May 28 that a suit against them should be dismissed in favor of a suit the two filed against the instant plaintiff in a different federal court (Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation v. Select Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-cv-02522, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Bankruptcy Court Closes United Gilsonite Laboratories' Chapter 11 Case

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL), the maker of home improvement products Drylock sealant and ZAR wood finish, emerged from Chapter 11 protection on May 28 with the issuance by a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge of a final decree, closing a case filed four years ago to protect the family-owned business from asbestos personal injury claims (In re: United Gilsonite Laboratories, 11-2032, M.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denies Review Of Defense Verdict In Ford Rollover Suit

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court May 27 denied review of an appeals court ruling upholding a jury verdict for Ford Motor Co. in a suit alleging that design defects in the roof and restraint system in a 2001 Ford Excursion SUV contributed to the injuries suffered by a young girl in a rollover accident (Joseph and April Parr, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 46 EAL 2015, Pa. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Negligence Law Permits Component-Part Liability, Federal Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - While Pennsylvania does not impose strict liability for third-party parts, a product manufacturer who knows the hazards posed by asbestos-containing parts originally supplied with its product always has a duty to warn about replacement parts under Pennsylvania negligence law, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held May 27 (Joseph Schwartz, et al. v. Abex Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 05-2511, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68074).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Tort Exemption Applies To Employee's Case, New York Justice Says

NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pennsylvania Tort Exemption Applies To Employee's Case, New York Justice Says

NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Tort Exemption Applies To Employee's Case, New York Justice Says

NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Negligence Law Permits Component-Part Liability, Federal Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - While Pennsylvania does not impose strict liability for third-party parts, a product manufacturer who knows the hazards posed by asbestos-containing parts originally supplied with its product always has a duty to warn about replacement parts under Pennsylvania negligence law, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held May 27 (Joseph Schwartz, et al. v. Abex Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 05-2511, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68074).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Couple: Fracking Companies Not Permitted To Dismiss Tainted Water Lawsuit

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania landowners who sued hydraulic fracturing companies alleging chemical contamination of their drinking water as a result of fracking operations on May 26 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court opposing the company's motion to dismiss, arguing that it has not provided evidence to establish that the residents have willfully failed to commence arbitration or have abandoned any of their meritorious claims (Edwin Bidlack, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al., No. 11-00129, M.D. Pa.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Mother Files Suit In Pennsylvania Court For Son's Death From Falling Dresser

PHILADELPHIA - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died when a bedroom dresser tipped over, crushing him, filed suit May 21 in state court against the Ikea Group, which sold her the dresser, alleging design defect and negligence on the part of the retailer (Jacquelyn Collas, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Curran Collas v. The Ikea Group, et al., No. 150502365, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Insurer's Coverage Suit Over Faulty Work Claims To Proceed

PHILADELPHIA - An insurer's lawsuit regarding coverage for underlying faulty workmanship claims successfully alleges the $75,000 requirement for federal jurisdiction, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 20 (Frederick Mutual Insurance Co. v. KP Construction d/b/a Mark Katona Roofing, et al., No. 15-0764, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66339).

Mealey's Insurance - 6th Circuit Reverses Ruling Against Insurer In Dispute Over Thailand Flood Coverage

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's ruling in favor of a supplier of automotive products, services and solutions in an insurance coverage dispute over its alleged $88 million in losses caused by the 2011 Thailand flood (Federal-Mogul Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, Nos. 13-2686, 14-1022, 6th Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Man Injured In Amtrak Derailment Files Suit In Pennsylvania Court

PHILADELPHIA - A New York man filed suit in Pennsylvania state court May 20, seeking damages for injuries suffered in the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia (Trevor Beddoe, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. [a/k/a Amtrak], et al., No. 150502104, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Insurer Has To Defend But Not Indemnify Public Accounting Firm

PHILADELPHIA - Finding that there is a disputed issue of fact as to whether a public accounting firm's employee had reason to know, before an accountant's professional liability insurance policy became effective, that a claim could be reasonably anticipated, a Pennsylvania federal judge on May 18 concluded that the insurer has a duty to defend but does not have to indemnify the firm against an underlying lawsuit alleging that the firm and its employee breached their professional duty of confidentiality (Navigators Insurance Co. v. Resnick Amsterdam Leshner, et al., No. 14-5158, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64385).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Court Revives Jones Act Claims In Merchant Marine's Asbestos Action

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A trial court focused too intently on a decedent's testimony in finding insufficient evidence of exposure from two shipping companies in an asbestos action and applied the wrong causation standard for a Jones Act case, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held May 18 (Timothy Criswell, executor of the estate of Earl J. Criswell v. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Sunoco Inc., No. 2175 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court Revives Jones Act Claims In Merchant Marine's Asbestos Action

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A trial court focused too intently on a decedent's testimony in finding insufficient evidence of exposure from two shipping companies in an asbestos action and applied the wrong causation standard for a Jones Act case, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held May 18 (Timothy Criswell, executor of the estate of Earl J. Criswell v. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Sunoco Inc., No. 2175 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator Asks Court To Allow Payment Of $6.3 Million In Claims

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on May 18 to approve the recommended payment of $6.3 million in claims (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 5 Amtrak Passengers Seek Damages In 2 Suits In Pennsylvania Federal Court

PHILADELPHIA - Two suits were filed in Pennsylvania federal court May 18 alleging injuries resulting from the derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia (Blair Berman v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 15-02741, E.D. Pa.; Iban, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 15-02744, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Pennsylvania's MTBE Case Partially Dismissed; Some Claims Remain Valid

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on May 14 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, concluding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's claim for subrogation was dismissed but that its claim for potential violation of state statutes could not be dismissed at this time (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, No. 00-1898, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14 Civ. 6228, S.D. N.Y).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Pennsylvania's MTBE Case Partially Dismissed; Some Claims Remain Valid

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on May 14 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, concluding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's claim for subrogation was dismissed but that its claim for potential violation of state statutes could not be dismissed at this time (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, No. 00-1898, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14 Civ. 6228, S.D. N.Y).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Reinstates Man's Unfair Trade Practices Claim Against Roof Panel Installer

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 15 vacated an earlier decision awarding partial summary judgment to the installer of structural insulated panels (SIPs) on a roof, after finding that the plaintiff presented new evidence to establish a claim under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) that his home sustained water intrusion as a result of the deficient installation of the panels (Gary Gadley v. Jerry Ellis, et al., No. 13-17, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63914).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pfizer Can Get Zoloft General Causation Expert's Testimony From Prozac Litigation

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Zoloft birth defect multidistrict litigation on May 14 partially granted defendant Pfizer Inc.'s motion to compel the plaintiff's new general causation expert to disclose the general causation report he prepared for the plaintiffs in the Prozac birth defect litigation (In Re: Zoloft [Sertraline Hydrochloride] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2342, No. 2:12-md-2342, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Magistrate Finds No Jurisdiction Over Candy Firms' Cybersquatting Dispute

PITTSBURGH - Although a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge found that no jurisdiction existed over a Chicago-based chocolatier that is the defendant in a cybersquatting lawsuit, in a May 12 ruling she opted to transfer the matter to Illinois rather than grant the defendant's dismissal motion (Mon Aimee Chocolat Inc. v. Tushiya LLC, et al., No. 2:14-cv-01568, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62048).