PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals court panel on Jan. 26 affirmed a doctor's sentence for illegally prescribing opioid medications and submitting fraudulent bills to insurance companies after finding that the jury was properly instructed about the state's standards for properly prescribing the drugs (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lawrence P. Wean, Nos. 1165 EDA 2016, 1167 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 240).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 24 ruled that the government adequately alleges that a man should face charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States as a result of his role in a scheme to illegally obtain insurance for buses that were part of a commercial transportation company (United States of America v. Yalin Liu, No. 16cr42, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11243).
PITTSBURGH - Glass manufacturer PPG Industries Inc. on Jan. 22 filed a status report in a Pennsylvania federal court regarding its ongoing permitting activities pertaining to remedies for areas that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has determined are contaminated by PPG's manufacturing activities (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al. v. AS America Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - A district court erred in dismissing claims filed by a group of University of Pennsylvania Matching Plan participants and beneficiaries against the University of Pennsylvania and the university's vice president of human resources because the participants alleged facts showing that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by failing to monitor the plan's fees, the participants argue in a Jan. 19 brief to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Jennifer Sweda, et al. v. The University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 17-3244, 3rd Cir.).
PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 19 granted judgment on the pleadings to mortgagors and a reinsurer with regard to a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim and an unjust enrichment claim (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8648).
PHILADELPHIA - A former employee of Mid-Atlantic Lubes Inc., traded as Jiffy Lube, filed a new joint settlement agreement and petition for attorney fees on Jan. 19 in his wage lawsuit, 10 days after a Pennsylvania federal judge rejected the first proposed settlement for containing release provisions that were too broad (David Hoover, et al. v. Mid-Atlantic Lubes, Inc., et al., No. 16-64, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7480).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 19 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment after determining that the policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for cleanup costs incurred by the insureds as a result of a heating oil tank leak (Irl S. Barg et al. v. Encompass Home & Auto Insurance Co., No. 16-6049, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8951).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court on Jan. 18 reversed a trial court's order to transfer a medical malpractice and wrongful death suit to a different venue after finding that the court abused its discretion because there is no evidence that a trial in the original court would be "vexatious" (Paige Moody, et al. v. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, No. 3580 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 28).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 12 denied a motion to remand filed by Aetna Inc. and Aetna Health Management LLC, finding that their attempt to provide service to a defendant doctor accused of conspiring to submit claims for an opioid-based pain medication for cancer patients was improper because the complaint was not sent to a location with a person who could accept service on his behalf (Aetna Inc., et al. v. Insys Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 17-4812, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6943).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 16 refused to dismiss claims for violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), finding that the City of Philadelphia sufficiently pleaded allegations to allow claims that a bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices in minority communities within the city to proceed (City of Philadelphia v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 17-2203, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6443).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 12 determined that exercising federal jurisdiction over an insurer's suit seeking a coverage declaration for an underlying carbon monoxide poisoning suit filed against an insured is appropriate because the insurer's suit and the underlying suit are not parallel proceedings (Foremost Insurance Co. v. Nosam LLC, et al., No. 17-2843, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6645).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 11 refused to dismiss for failure to join indispensable parties an insurer's lawsuit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured in a breach of contract case (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. Dover Roofing & General Remodeling Exteriors Unlimited Inc., No. 17-228, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4814).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania judge on Jan. 10 granted judgment notwithstanding the verdict in the state's first Xarelto trial, vacating a $27.8 million plaintiff verdict (Hartman v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 160503416, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A June 2017 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse, for a second time, a Pennsylvania federal judge's award of attorney fees on behalf of a prevailing patent defendant will stand, thanks to a denial of certiorari in the case Jan. 8 by the U.S. Supreme Court (All-Tag Security S.A. v. Checkpoint Systems Inc., No. 17-519, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals court on Jan. 8 reversed a trial court ruling barring punitive damages in a Risperdal gynecomastia case, saying the court needs to evaluate whether punitives are allowed by Wisconsin law (Timothy Stange v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., Nos. 739 EDA 2016 and 1549 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 11).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania resident may proceed with his class action accusing the city where he lives of overcharging residents for trash services, a Pennsylvania judge ruled Jan. 2, granting the motion for class certification (Adam Guiffrida v. City of Scranton, No. 2016-CV-6933, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lackawanna Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania law all but eradicating joint and several liability applies to strict liability asbestos cases, a state appellate court held in remanding for a new trial on the issue of liability Dec. 28 (William Roverano, et al. v. John Crane Inc. et al., Nos. 2837 EDA 2016, 2847 EDA 2016, Pa. Super.)
PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania law all but eradicating joint and several liability applies to strict liability asbestos cases, a state appellate court held in remanding for a new trial on the issue of liability Dec. 28 (William Roverano, et al. v. John Crane Inc. et al., Nos. 2837 EDA 2016, 2847 EDA 2016, Pa. Super.).
PITTSBURGH - A woman is not entitled to more than the $154 she was awarded following a bench trial over a contractor's alleged improper installation of subflooring following mold remediation, a Pennsylvania appeals court panel ruled Dec. 15, finding that other costs associated with repairing the mistake were outside the terms of their agreement (Myrna Cohen v. JS Associated Service, No. 390 WDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4609).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals court panel on Dec. 15 said a trial judge did not err when remitting a Zimmer Inc. knee verdict to $29.6 million and said it declined to substitute its judgment in place of the jury's (Margo Polett, et al. v. Public Communications, Inc., et al., No. 80 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4603).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 15 granted a hotel's motion for summary judgment to a hotel after finding that a woman who claims that she was assaulted by a massage therapist employed by a gym in the hotel did not provide a cause of action to "hold the hotel liable for the torts of the independent contractor gym" (Elena Myers Court v. Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Inc., et al., No. 16-4848, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206378).