PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 7 granted and denied in part an insured's request to compel an insurer to produce redacted documents pertaining to mediation in an underlying case, as well as reinsurance information (Golon Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 17-0819, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201792).
PHILADELPHIA - The exclusion of two experts did little to change the state of a case as two other experts hold the same opinions regarding asbestos-contaminated talc's role in causing mesothelioma, a woman told a Pennsylvania judge on Dec. 4 (Sally Brandt, et al. v. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., et al., No. 151202987, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 1 denied a plaintiff's motion to remand a suit seeking a declaration that a recovery service company hired by a disability insurer is not entitled to collect reimbursement for paid disability benefits because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act applies to the dispute and, therefore, federal subject matter jurisdiction exists (Denise Wingo v. Trover Solutions Inc., No. 17-846, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197751).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on Dec. 5 awarded an Indiana woman and her husband $27.8 million for injuries allegedly caused by the anticoagulant drug Xarelto, a source told Mealey Publications (Lynn Hartman, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 160503416, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge found that a lower court erred in finding that a commercial umbrella liability insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured against $2.6 million in punitive damages that it paid to settle an underlying wrongful death and survival action, vacating and remanding for an entry of summary judgment in favor of the insured on the breach of contract claim and for reinstatement and further proceedings on the bad faith claim (Bensalem Racing Association, Inc., et al. v. Ace Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 530 EDA 2017, Pa. Super.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Nov. 15 grant of mandamus released Dec. 1, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated a Minnesota federal judge's decision to transfer a patent case to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (In re: Cutsforth Inc., No. 17-135, Fed. Cir.).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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).