PHILADELPHIA - A firefighter's failure to link occupation exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens to his prostate cancer dooms his workers' compensation claim, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held Sept. 7 (Earl Hutz v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board [City of Philadelphia], No. 2140 C.D. 2015, Pa. Cmwlth.; 2016 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 382).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 6 affirmed dismissal of a property owner's claim for violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), finding that she failed to comply with a district court's orders and did not appear at trial (Deonne New-Howard, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 15-3879, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16367).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 30 granted in part a motion for summary judgment filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), ruling that the purchaser of a contaminated site can be held liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Pennsylvania's Hazardous Site Cleanup Act (HSCA) for response costs incurred after it took ownership of the property (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection v. Trainer Custom Chemical LLC, et al., No. 15-1232, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116139).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Although an insured has properly pleaded his claim for insurance bad faith, he has failed to do so with regard to claims made under the Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA) because Pennsylvania does not provide for recovery for such claims, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Aug. 29 (Ronald E. Long v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 16-0138, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115328).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 29 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that Pennsylvania does not provide for recovery for bad faith claims made pursuant to the Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA) (Ronald E. Long v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., No. 16-0139, C.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115324).
PITTSBURGH - The termination of a disability claimant's long-term disability (LTD) benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the medical evidence supports the plan's determination that the claimant could perform the duties of her own occupation, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Aug. 26 (Antoinette F. Swanberg v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Affiliates Long Term Disability Plan, No. 15-544, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114551).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 29 granted The Walt Disney Co. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Inc.'s (the Disney companies) motion to dismiss a venomous snake bite case brought against it because he found that the court does not have general jurisdiction over the defendants (Michael Barth, et al. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Inc., et al., No. 16-2140, E.D. Pa.).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 26 excluded partial testimony in an insurance coverage dispute on the remaining issue as to whether an insured's property was located within a 100-year floodplain at the time of its loss (Federal-Mogul Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 12-12005, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114573).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 25 found that an underlying professional malpractice lawsuit against an attorney insured constitutes a single "claim" under a professional liability insurance policy, declaring that the insurer's contractual liability defense and indemnity is limited to $500,000 (Westport Insurance Corp. v. Peter G. Mylonas, et al., No. 14-5760, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114867).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of Reliance Insurance Co. asked a Pennsylvania court on Aug. 23 to approve a report and recommendation regarding more than $8 million of claims (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Rep. Todd Stephens on Aug. 22 issued a press release calling on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to sue the U.S. Navy in an effort to force it to clean up water systems in Montgomery County, Pa., which the representative says are contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from a Naval Air Station.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Aug. 18 enforced, with some modifications, a decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) finding that the social media code of Chipotle Services LLC (doing business as Chipotle Mexican Grill) violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the fast food chain committed further violations by directing an employee to delete certain tweets, prohibiting the employee from circulating a petition challenging the chain's break policy and terminating the employee for his actions (Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill and Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee, a project of the Fast Food Workers Committee, Nos. 04-CA-147314 and 04-CA-149551, NLRB).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on Aug. 19 found no negligence in a doctor's failure to properly diagnose and treat a woman's herpes zoster virus after a judge ruled that the jury would not hear testimony regarding the potential availability of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits (Tami Bernheisel v. Martin Mikaya, M.D., Memorial Hospital Inc., et al., No. 13-1496, M.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - In a price-fixing conspiracy lawsuit against egg producers, an economics expert may opine regarding the existence of a unitary egg industry, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 15, denying the motion to exclude the testimony (In re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-md-2002, MDL No. 2002, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107399).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 12 dismissed a class claim for medical monitoring brought by airline workers stationed at the Philadelphia International Airport who allege that they were exposed to toxins, finding that the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act (PWCA) is the exclusive remedy available to the workers (David Smith, et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., et al., No. 16-156, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107402).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 11 dismissed a reinsurance arbitration dispute pursuant to an agreement between the parties (In the Matter of Arbitration Between Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation and Odyssey America Reinsurance Corporation, No. 10-mc-00195, E.D. Pa.).
A second wave of putative class action lawsuits accusing universities of mismanaging their employee retirement plans by charging excessive fees, using multiple record keepers to operate their plans and handle administrative services and offering too many high-cost and poorly performing investment options were filed Aug. 10 and 11 (David Clark, et al. v. Duke University, et al., No. 1:16-cv-01044, M.D. N.C.; Loren L. Cassell, et al. v. Vanderbilt University, et al., No. 3:16-cv-02086, M.D. Tenn.; Jennifer Sweda, et al. v. University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 2:16-cv-04329; Margaret E. Kelly, et al. v. The Johns Hopkins University, No. 1:16-cv-02835, D. Md.).