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Automobile Law Section

Information for members of PaTLA's Automobile Law Section
**Updated 3/7/2006

Unsolicited opinion by Retired Judge Robert K. Young regarding the surplus of revenue by the Lehigh Valley Hospital. Submitted by Richard Abraham of Philadelphia 3/7/2006.

New Superior Court Case on UM/UIM--Link to Blood v. Old Guard Insurance Company. Submitted by Scott Cooper of Harrisburg 3/2/2006.

"Regular use" exclusion case-- Link to Ayers v. Prudential decision regarding "regular use" UIM exclusion case. Submitted by Scott Cooper of Harrisburg 2/7/2006.

New Pa. Super Case -- Link to Fulton v. Nationwide upholding the household exclusion as not against public policy. However, there is still no case that has addressed it in light of Colbert, Richmond and Generette.

$12 million Bad Faith Verdict -- Dec. 30, 2005 Memorandum and Order in Bombar v. West American Insurance Co. (73 pgs). Submitted by Marion Munley of Scranton 1/4/2006.

Dog bite complaints-- Two complaints. Dog bite complaint and Landlord-tenant dog bite complaint. Submitted by Joel Weist 12/29/2005

Briefs in support of motion for summary judgment of defendants; in opposition to motion for summary judgment by defendants-- Two briefs regarding motions for summary judgment in fall down case. Submitted by Joseph Liotta 12/22/2005 

Doctor’s Financial Questions--Opinion and order in Gass v. Stellmacher (8 pgs.) in which a Northumberland judge first denies a Motion to Compel Answers to Plaintiff's subpeona to a defense expert witness, but subsequently orders that defendant’s expert is required to submit to cross-examination concerning annual percentage of expert’s income that is attributable to his services as an expert witness, or be precluded from testifying. Doctor refused, then plaintiff’s attorney was successful in getting the court to deny defense another DME. Per curiam denial of review (in plainitff's favor) at the Superior Ct. level is also included. Posted 9/30/2005 by Joel Wiest of Sunbury.

UIM Rejection Ruling from Middle District -- Unitran v. Heister (13 pgs.) Fed. District Ct. held that a UIM rejection form that adds the sentence "By rejecting this coverage, I am also signing the waiver on pg. 10 rejecting stacked limits of underinsured motorist coverage," "specifically" complies with the Sec. 1731 statutory form even though the statutory form doesn't contain that language. Posted 9/22/2005 by Matt Crosby of Harrisburg.

Rental car liability-- Garcia v. Plaza Oldsmobile; Favorable 3rd Circuit decision. Client, a Pennsylvania resident, was seriously injured in an auto accident in Pennsylvania. He was hit by a New York driver who was driving a car rented from a New York car rental agency. Court agreed that New York vicarious liability law would apply to rental agency. This means that rental agency was liable for negligence of the driver simply by owning vehicle. (11 pgs.) Posted 9/13/2005 by Andrew D. Bigda of Wilkes Barre. 

PennDOT Discovery -- Franklin Common Pleas Ct. opinion in Black v. Jamison (18 pgs.) and Plainitff's Brief in Support of Motion to Compel Discovery in Langenbacher v. Cmwlth. of Pa. Dept. of Transportation (35 pgs.) Posted 9/9/2005 by Karen L. Steele of Altoona.

Deposition Preparation - Automobile Cases --   List of questions that plaintiffs in an auto case should anticipate at their deposition (10 pgs.). Posted 8/2/2005 by Richard E. Freeburn of Harrisburg.

New Phila. Discovery Requests (in editable formats) -- Discovery requests applicable to Philadelphia arbitration injury cases. Documents available in editable MS Word or Word Perfect formats. Posted 7/1/2005 by Andrew Spiegel of Philadelphia. Each zip file contains the following documents: 1) Interrog. addressed to pl. in premises cases, 2) Pl. interrog. to def. in premises cases, 3) Pl. interrog. to def. on M.V. cases, 4) Def. interrog. addressed to pl. in M.V. cases, 5) Notice to answer to respond to discovery req., 6) Pl. request for prod. of doc., and 7) Def. req. for prod. of doc. Files may take a minute or more to load.   

Favorable Hills & Ridges Opinion -- Beaver Co. memorandum opinion and order in Liggett v. Pennsylvania's Northern Lights Shoppers City, Inc. (9 pgs.) denying summary judgment on the grounds that the hills and ridges doctrine does not apply to client's fact scenario. Posted 7/1/2005 by Thomas R. Matvey of Alquippa.

Discovery of Plaintiff’s Physician’s Financial Records -- All of the following documents in one pdf (20 pgs.): Motion for Protective Order filed on behalf of the plaintiff and order of court granting the motion to prohibit the defendant’s discovery of financial info on a treating physician; order from another case granting a similar motion for protective order; and order denying defendant’s motion to make the financial info produced by defendant's expert be kept confidential. Posted 6/16/2005 by Stephen M. Moschetta of Washington.

Dr.'s Finance Interrogatories -- Memorandum opinion of Super. Ct. in Moore v. Clayton granting plainttiff's motion to compel answers to interrogatories, set of interrogatories on examining doctor's finances, and Superior Ct. Brief. Posted 5/4/2005 by Richard Senker of Plymouth Meeting. 

Hills and Ridges Memo --  Memorandum in anticipation of defendants' request for jury instruction on hills & ridges doctrine (5 pgs.) Posted by Evan Aidman of Ardmore.

Medical Records and Copying Charges -- Availability of medical records to patient and charges for copies (2 pgs.) Posted 3/1/2005. Prepared by Jason Imler of Harrisburg.

New Matter Pt. II -- POs to Strike Defendant's New MatterBrief in Support and Order by CP Y/C Judge Chronister dated 2/11/05 striking same with opportunity to refile. [Importance: Def. filed 11 affirmative defenses wtihout any supporting factual averments. Judge struck the new matter with opportunity to refile.  A defendant cannot reserve factually unsubstantiated defenses.  Defendant can always request leave to amend new matter upon discovery of new facts.] Posted (2/18/2005). Submitted by Judy K. Morris of Hanover.

New Set-off decision - Not precedential -- Sup. Ct. opinion in Penn National v. Black where the Court found the set off clause in the UIM provisions of a policy violates public policy most likely based upon the facts of the case (12 pgs.) Posted 2/15/2005. Many Thanks to Scott Cooper of Hbg.

Confidentiality of neuropschology tests -- Official position statement of Academy of Neuropschology on why test are kept confidential (4 pgs.). Posted 2/10/2005. Many thanks to Robert Mangold of Philadelphia. 

Dog Bite Interrogatories & Request Part II -- Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents in a dog bite case. Posted 1/26/2005. Submitted by Joel Wiest of Sunbury.

Nott v. Aetna Amicus Curiae Brief -- Amicus brief submitted by Matthew S. Crosby and Scott B. Cooper of Harrisburg. Posted 1/14/2005

Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents in Dog Bite Case -- Documents submitted by Stephen P. Moschetta of Washington. Posted 12/27/2004

Video testimony of prior treating physician -- Plaintiff's Brief in opposition to defendant's motion to compel prior treating physician to testify at video deposition (10 pgs.) Posted 12/21/2004. Submitted by Victor Cavacini of Allentown.

Brief and POs re New Matter -- Set of POs and Brief in Support of POs to object to New Matter allegations from defense counsel that did not meet the required specificity requirements of the Pa Rules of Civil Procedure. Posted 12/15/2004. Submitted by Denis Krill of Erie.

Amusement facility's duty of care --
1. Brief in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The Brief itself discusses an amusement facility’s duty of care owed to patrons, a general analysis of the "duty factors" applicable to any negligence claim regardless of the circumstances, and a general discussion of assumption of the risk as it applies to amusement facility cases.
2. Memorandum of Law - The Memorandum of Law discusses the above issues, as well as the effect of a Release of Liability Form executed by a minor (P.18-22) and "causation" in negligence cases generally (P.22-30).
--Submitted by Jason Matzus of Pittsburgh.

Bad Faith opinion against Allstate -- 36 pgs., Rutkowski v. Allstate opinion from Lackawanna Common Pleas Judge Terry Nealon of 11/10/2004

Criswell v. Boll--22 pgs., Criswell v. Boll opinion from Lancaster Co. Court of Common Pleas; Submitted by Dale Larrimore. Posted 10/20/2004

Motion in Limine--34 pgs., Motion in Limine re testimony of Daniel A. Funk, M.D. Submitted by Elliot Segel of Erie.

IME-DME Letter -- 1 pg., Letter to defense medical examiner advising that doctor is not "independent" but is "defendant's expert." Posted 10/1/2004. Submitted by Andrew Gaber of Philadelphia.

Letter seeking insurance documents -- 2pgs., Letter to client's insurance company seeking documents relating to selection of the tort options, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, rejections of coverages, sign down, stacking, etc. Posted 9/14/2004. Submitted by Scott Cooper of Harrisburg and Bill Roeger of Perkasie.

Maritime opinion -- Finding of Fact and Finding of Damages in significant maritime case decided by Chief Judge Donetta Ambrose in which she clarifies the applicable law in a pleasure craft/commercial barge allision. Posted 8/27/2004. Submitted by Louis Loughren of Pittsburgh.

The "List"--2 pgs., List of activities used for limited tort clients; Created by Robert J. Mongeluzzi; Originally run in the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association's The Verdict ;Submitted by Joanne Fishman of Philadelphia. 8/24/2004; Click here for document

Household Exclusion -- 5 pgs., Memorandum opinion & order from Erie County Common Pleas Judge John A. Bozza setting aside the household exclusion based upon the language in the UIM provisions of the State Farm policy. Posted 8/19/2004. Submitted by Elliot Segal of Erie and Scott Cooper of Harrisburg.

Household Exclusion PT II -- 14 pgs., Opinion and order from Washington County by Aribtrator Stephen McCloskey finding coverage, rejecting the household exclusion defense. This “scholarly” opinion addresses Colbert and all of the other issues that have been handed down both prior and subsequent thereto. Posted 8/20/2004. Submitted by Pat Loughren of Pittsburgh.

Opinion-Damages in wrongful death action -- 14 pgs., Opinion from Judge Turgeon of Dauphin Cty. from Aug. 10, 2004 that includes analysis of damages in a Wrongful Death and Survival Action. Although it was an auto accident case, liability was admitted and the issues addressed in the motion for a new trial [which was granted] are applicable to med mal cases also. Posted 8/12/2004. Submitted by Luther Milspaw of Harrisburg.

Precluding evidence of minor impact defense -- 5 pg.-Motion in limine and 10-pg. Brief in support of Motion to preclude introduction of photographs and evidence regarding minor impact when the expert has not been retained to testify as to those issues; posted 7/21/2004. Prepared by Nina Milovanovich of Lancaster. 

Frye/Daubert Update -- 6 pgs., Within the last two years, there have been a few important appellate cases decided in the the state and federal courts in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which have discussed the important Frye and Daubert decisions; posted 7/13/2004. Prepared by Scott B. Cooper of Harrisburg. click here for the article

Motion In Limine to Preclude Defendant's Expert Testomony -- 11 pgs., Motion In Limine and Brief to Exclude Bioengineer in MIST Case; posted 6/24/2004. Submitted by PaTLA member Gerald Spivack of Philadelphia. click here for motion & brief

Exculpatory Release Brief -- 8 pgs., For injuries sustained while horseback riding. Note: Brief is 2-3 years old and would need updating; posted 6/17/2004. Submitted by PaTLA member Joseph J. Liotta III of Franklin. click here for brief

Brief accompanying motion to compel expert discovery -- 33 pgs., copntains detailed analysis of numerous arguments; posted 6/11/2004. Submitted by PaTLA member Nina Milovanovich of Lancaster. click here for brief

Waddell Signs Information -- Contains information about Nonorganic physical signs in low-back pain. Updated 6/8/2004  
Cross for Waddell - Submitted by Joseph DeSimone of Bensalem Cross 
Link to article on Corrected Use of Waddell Signs Article

 

 

 

Residency Brief in UM/UIM Cases -- 12-page brief, posted 5/25/2004. Submitted by PaTLA member Amy Coryer-Host of Harrisburg. click here for brief

Expert discovery opinion --
(1) Lancaster Judge David Ashworth's 7-pg. opinion and order of July 19, 2004 denying defendant's motion for stay in Criswell v. Boll, posted 8/16/2004. Submitted by PaTLA member Nina Milovanovich of Lancaster. Click here for opinion
(2) Lancaster Common Pleas Judge's 22-pg. opinion and order denying doctor's motion for protective order, posted 4/23/2004. Submitted by PaTLA member Nina Milovanovich of Lancaster. Click here for opinion

The Missing Witness: The DME Doctor -- Article by Dale Larrimore of Philadelphia (copyright Philadelphia Trial Lawyers and Dale Larrimore), posted 4/19/2004. What remedies are available of plaintiffs counsel when defense chooses not to call the DME doctor as a witness at trial. click here for article

Brief on Causation Defense -- Brief in support of motion to preclude defense prepared by Joe Nypaver of Altoona. click here for brief 

Forum non conveniens  -- Brief prepared PaTLA member Evan Aidman of Ardmore on plaintiff’s memorandum of law in opposition to defendant’s petition to transfer venue. click here for memo

Household Exclusion -- Brief prepared by PaTLA member Patrick J. Loughren of Pittsburgh on household exclusion in a case pending before Superior Court. The facts are identical to Prudential vs. ColbertClick here for brief

Motion Practice Article -- By PaTLA Member Dale Larrimore of Philadelphia. On Oct. 24, 2003, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted a Per Curiam Order, establishing new requirements for the determination of Preliminary Objections, Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings, Motions for Summary Judgment, Petitions and Motions in the Courts of Common Pleas throughout Pennsylvania... Click here for article

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