News & Case Notes

Profits rise at Pa. surgery centers
Profits are up at Pennsylvania's outpatient surgery centers, according to a new report (9/8/2005)

Woman injured in accident with school bus can proceed with negligence claim against district
Question of extent of plaintiff’s injuries are within purview of a jury, Northampton judge rules. (9/8/2005)

Limited tort plaintiff unable to recover for non-economic damages, Fayette judge rules
Injured woman unable to demonstrate evidence of a serious injury. (9/7/2005)

Act 13 & other remedies cut med-mal costs 5 to 8 percent
But step-up in physicians’ basic coverage limits not recommended. (9/6/2005)

Allstate to pay $120 million in class action
Insurance company to pay up to $120 million in overtime class action lawsuit (9/2/2005)

Superior Court upholds large products liability verdict in Luzerne Co.
Superior Court upholds verdicts, now worth over $60 million, against sprinkler system manufacturer (9/1/2005)

Quality Assurance Review documents not protected by Peer Review
Hospital failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that peer review committee in fact used documents. (9/1/2005)

OB/GYN cannot give testimony in negligence case against colorectal surgeon, Superior Ct. rules
Under Pennsylvania’s MCARE Act, an OB/GYN specialist is not competent to testify as to the standard of care of a colorectal surgeon in a medical malpractice case. (8/31/2005)

DuPont jury awards $15.5 million to plaintiff and his wife
Mississippi awards $15.5 million in suit against DuPont Co. for cancer contracted due to the company's toxic waste contamination (8/30/2005)

3 Work Comp cases from Cwmwlth. Ct.
Court examines issues of borrowed employee analysis, occupational disease, and reinstatement of total disability benefits. (8/30/2005)

Biomechanics expert qualified to testify about effects of low-velocity collision
Biomechanics expert qualified to testify about amount of force as a result of low-velocity collision, Superior Ct. rules. (8/29/2005)

Recent Dragonetti Act decision
U.S. District Court, E.D. of Pa., ruled Aug. 19 that communications between a doctor and his attoneys do not need to be turned over in discovery (8/26/05)

New Third Circuit opinion calculation of workers' pension benefits under ERISA
In DiGiacomo v. Teamsters Pension Trust Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity, a panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that ERISA "prevents pension plans from denying credit for pre-ERISA service time accrued prior to a break-in service."

Defendant that failed to object to verdict sheets in products case waives its request for j.n.o.v., Supreme Ct. rules
A defendant in a products liability case that failed to object to the verdict sheets and the trial court’s accompanying instructions, waived the ground upon which it requested a judgment notwithstanding the verdict in its post-trial motion, the state Supreme Court has ruled. (8/25/2005)

Loss of medical device mandates summary judgment for defendant in products case
The loss of a surgically implanted medical device mandates the dismissal of a products liability action against the device manufacturer, a Northampton County judge has ruled. (8/24/2005)

Photographic evidence of vehicle damage permitted without suporting expert testimony
A trial court properly allowed a defendant’s photographic evidence of minor vehicle damage without supporting biomechanical testimony in a personal injury case, a Philadelphia judge has ruled. (8/18/2005)

PaTLA Convention Photos 2005
Photos from PaTLA's 2005 Annual Convention events

Corporate negligence claim against nursing home can proceed
Fayette judge rules that facts pled sufficient to bring claim of corporate negligence and entitle plaintiff of punitive damages. (8/17/2005)

Inquirer: Felonies restored in pier collapse
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that the owner and operator of Pier 34 South must face felony charges in the fatal collapse that killed three young women at a nightclub five years ago. (8/16/2005)

Hearsay testimony excluded in personal injury action
Trial court properly excluded hearsay testimony of alleged store employee, Superior Ct. rules. (8/15/2005)

Pa. law applies in auto accident that occurred in Ohio
Superior Ct. rules that policies and interests in case concern Pennsylvania law and regulations. (8/12/2005)

Amtrak FELA verdict for plaintiff upheld by federal judge
In a FELA lawsuit brought by an injured Amtrak employee, a federal judge on Aug. 9 denied the defendant’s motions for a new trial, thus upholding a jury’s verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $573,100. (8/11/2005)

Cmwlth. Ct. issues ruling on calculation of self-employment earnings
Employer not entitled to credit for entire amount of self-employment income earned by podiatrist. (8/10/2005)

Defense expert must produce 1099 forms
Defense expert in personal injury action must comply with discovery request to produce 1099 forms, Philadelphia judge rules. (8/9/2005)

Disciplinary bd. proposes liability insurance disclosure
The Board of the Pa. Supreme Ct. has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for a new Section (c) of Rule 1.4 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, Communication. (8/9/2005)

Injured worker's petition not time barred
An injured worker’s request to modify notice adding mental injury not time barred, WCAB rules. (8/8/2005)

Middle Dist. Judge: Injured worker entitled to UIM benefits under public policies of MVFRL and WCA
An employee who sustained serious injuries in an auto accident that occurred while on the job and was solely caused by a co-employee’s negligence is entitled to underinsured motorist benefits. (8/5/2005)

U.S. 3rd Circuit ruling on admissibility of testimony under Rule 407
Evidence of remedial measures taken by a non-party admissible in products case. (8/3/2005)

New ruling from Supreme Ct. on sovereign immunity
Supreme Court rejects Housing Authority’s claim that it is a commonwealth agency and thus minor’s lead poisoning claim is time-barred. (8/2/2005)

Phila. judge denies defendant's post-trial motions in PennDOT case
A Philadelphia Common Pleas judge has denied defendant’s post-trial motions in a personal injury case against PennDOT. (8/4/2005)

No benefits for injury obtained while using employee discount
Employee cannot claim workers' comp benefits for an injury received while shopping using employee discount (7/28/2005)

Fair Share Act unconstitutional
Commonwealth Ct. rules Fair Share Act is unconstitutional (7/26/2005)

Insurance reserves are discoverable in bad faith case
The insurer must turn over its reserve documents to plaintiff in bad faith case, court rules (7/26/2005)

Employer not entitled to offset
Employer is not entitled to offset of Social Security benefits if claimant became entitled before his injury (7/25/2005)

New Mcare case from Eastern District
Memorandum and order in Miville v. Abington Memorial Hospital. (7/22/2005)

Venue in personal injury claim remanded to Phila. Co.
A trial court erred in granting defendant’s transfer of venue to Delaware Co. in personal injury case in Raymond v. Park Terrace Apartments. (7/21/2005)

New employment law ruling from Superior Ct.
Fired employee bringing defamation action not bound by arbitration because she was never given company handbook. (7/20/2005)

ATLA: Victory in Wisconsin
Wisconsin high court strikes down cap on non-economic damages, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America reports. (7/19/2005)

Inquirer Editorial
NJ Legislature must grapple with legal challenge to 'serious' injury definition. (7/19/2005)

New rejection of stacking case
Insurance Co. does not need new rejection of stacking form on third vehicle (7/18/2005)

Employer's right to subrogation payment
Employer has right to immediate payment of subrogation lien even if claimant has financial hardship (7/15/2005)

Pro-gun industry legislation to be introduced in Senate
Senate majority leader Bill Frist to introduce pro-gun maker legislation as early as this week (7/14/2005)

Superior Ct. rules on plaintiff's ascertainable loss under UTPCPL
Superior Ct. panel ruling on July 8 in Agliori v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. (7/13/2005)

Work comp ruling on contest of penalty petition
Employer’s violation of Work Comp Act does not preclude contest of claimant’s penalty petition, Cmwlth. Ct. rules. (7/5/2005)

New opinion from Superior Ct. on alleged misappropriation of setttlement & UTPCPL
A Superior Ct. panel on June 27 ruled in a non-precedential decision in Beyers v. Richmond that an attorney who allegedly misappropriated funds from a client’s personal injury settlement may be sued under the UTPCPL. (7/1/2005)

Ct. affirms defendant's venue change in premises case
A Superior Court panel in a 2-1 non-precedential decision affirmed a trial court’s order granting the defendant change of venue on the grounds of forum non conveniens. (6/30/2005)

A trial court's order for new trial on damages is affirmed
New trial awarded where jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence, Superior Ct. panel rules in Womack v. Crowley. (6/29/2005)

Children of live-in girlfriend granted death benefits
Minor children of live-in girlfriend granted death benefits of deceased worker who stood in loco parentis of both children, Cmwlth Ct. rules. (6/28/2005)

Laches not a subrogation defense
Commonwealth Court rules that laches are not a defense to employer's right to subrogation (6/27/2005)

Superior Ct. rules on pleading and proving in UM case
Injured motorist can plead, prove and recover amount paid by workers’ compensation carrier. (6/24/2005)

Amicus News: Pa. consumers win auto insurance victory
Federal Court rules District Court has no jurisdiction in dispute over conduct of insurance company. (6/23/2005)

Aftercare and surgery are related for purposes of venue
A plaintiff's surgery on his foot and surgical aftercare performed by the same doctor are related for purposes of venue, Northampton judge rules. (6/21/2005)

Claim of asbestos-related lung cancer is time-barred
Plaintiff’s later claim of asbestos-related lung cancer is time-barred, Common Pleas judge rules. (6/20/2005)

Judge rules that medical records co. must pay for overcharging
A Common Pleas judge has granted summary judgment in favor of a class of plaintiffs in a case involving overcharging by a company that retrieves and copies hospital records. (6/16/2005)

Gov. signs new law protecting employers
AP: Law protects employers who reveal work histories. (6/16/2005)

Schroder, Turzai take aim at rights of consumers
Schroder, Turzai take broad aim at rights of consumers and injured victims with set of bills. (6/15/2005)

Late notice takes excess carrier off the hook in $2 million jury verdict
Excess carrier not obligated to pay primary carrier in personal injury case because of late notification, federal judge rules. (6/15/2005)

Worker’s benefits terminated due to Dr's failure to provide records for URO
An injured worker's medical benefits are terminated due to a treating doctor's failure to provide records for URO, Cmwlth. Ct. rules in County of Allegheny v. WCAB (Geisler), (6/13/2005)

Fen-Phen case ends due to doctor's death
A Philadelphia judge has ruled in favor of the defense in a case against diet drug manufacturer Wyeth after plaintiff's doctor dies. (6/10/2005)

Commonwealth Ct. orders complete suspension of widow's benefits
Court orders complete suspension of benefits for widow of worker who died from asbestos exposure related to his employment. (6/9/2005)

ERISA preempts MVFRL in subrogation case
A federal judge has ruled that ERISA preempts MVFRL in case involving employee benenfit plan’s subrogation rights. (6/8/2005)

Convention 2005
Convention July 6 - 10, Hyatt Regency at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. CLE seminars, section & committee meetings, social events, family activities.

June is Nat'l Safety Month
Tips to prevent workplace injuries form the Nat'l Safety Council. (6/7/2005)

Jury's verdict in rear-end collision case 'against weight of the evidence'
Judge remands rear-end collision case for new trial on damages where jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence. (6/6/2005)

Lackawanna judge will let jury decide on proximate cause of suicide
Family of plaintiff who committed suicide can proceed with wrongful death and survivial action against defendant, a Lackawanna judge has ruled. (6/3/2005)

New appellate ct. ruling on admission of hearsay evid.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court on has ruled that a trial judge did not err by allowing admission of a hospital’s records under an exception to Rule 803(6)

New comp. ruling on reasoned decision requirement
WCJ met “reasoned decision” requirement in determining credibility of experts in fatal claim petition of miner, Commonwealth Court affirms. (6/1/2005)

Tort option case can proceed
Injured motorist can pursue negligence claim against insurance co. for failing to provide full tort coverage. (5/31/2005)

New trial granted in drug negligence case
Plaintiff's expert's testimony does not meet requirements of Pa. R. Evid. 705, Common Pleas judge rules. (5/26/2005)

Supreme Ct. rules in injured pedestrian's right of recovery
Young girl injured by motorist is not restricted to 'limited tort.' (5/25/2005)

New opinion on negligence claim involving RULWA immunity
Immunity under RULWA does not apply to negligence claim stemming from injury on cleared and developed property, Superior Ct. rules. (5/25/2005)

Vioxx cases to be heard as early as the Fall
Federal judge tells lawyers he might begin hearing Vioxx cases this Fall. (5/24/2005)

Commentary sought for ALI Employment Law Restatement
Clifford Rieders, Esq. is seeking comments from PaTLA members who do employment law (5/24/2005)

New ruling from Cmwlth. Ct. on IREs
Judge’s order directing injured worker to undergo IRE is not a final order and does not bar claimant’s review petition. (5/23/2005)

OSHA & ANSI standards 'erroneous' in construction accident case
Expert’s application of OSHA and ANSI standards 'erroneous' in construction accident case where defendant was not in direct control of hoisting and rigging, Superior Ct. has ruled. (5/20/2005)

Product liability verdict in truck accident case reversed
Superior Ct. reverses $15.5 M jury verdict in product liability case. (5/19/2005)

State high court to hear cases impacting on injured victims and consumers
Amicus News: Pa. Supreme Ct. to hear cases on discoverability of expert’s tax records and right of auto policyholders. (5/18/2005)

U.S. Supreme Ct. refuses to hear Pfizer appeal
$10 million punitive damage award stands for family of man who died after taking Rezulin anti-diabetes drug for five weeks. (5/17/2005)

Court rules in case where cert. of merit filed as motion
Non pros judgment upheld in med-mal case where certificate of merit was filed as motion, Superior Ct. rules. (5/16/2005)

Phila. judge sets aside $1.36M fen-phen verdict
Dow Jones reports that a Phila. judge has set aside a jury verdict that was reached against Wyeth over its diet drugs last November and ordered a new liability trial. (5/13/2005)

Med-mal plaintiffs required to plead exhaustion of remedies
Med-mal plaintiffs are required to plead exhaustion of remedies in case involving PPCIGA

Ct. rules on timeliness of appeal
Defendant in personal injury case cannot file appeal nunc pro tunc where original appeal was filed prematurely. (5/11/2005)

AP: First Vioxx trial now expected July 11
The first wrongful-death trial over Merck & Co. Inc.’s withdrawn pain reliever Vioxx is likely to be scheduled for July 11 in TX. (5/11/2005)

New Web site puts patients' medical records online
Inquirer: The new Internet database, free to patients, should reduce medical errors and save money, officials said. (5/10/2005)

Case against deceased defendant dismissed
Superior Court reject’s plaintiff’s argument that insurance company had known of and concealed knowledge of defendant’s death. (5/9/2005)

Claimant entitled to counsel fees
Claimant entitled to counsel fees and costs because successfully delayed onset of modification (5/6/2005)

Lipitor class denied
A philadelphia judge has denied class certification involving sales of alleged counterfeit Lipitor. (5/4/2005)

Policy bars coverage for pizza driver
Policy excludes coverage for pizza driver who caused damages using his own vehicle. (5/4/2005)

Work comp judge rules for family of slain ice cream vendor
Workers’ Comp judge rules slain ice cream truck vendor was employee of Jack & Jill, not independent contractor. (5/3/2005)

Venue not transferred to where doctor made phone call
Doctor’s medical instructions by telephone insufficient for venue transfer, Superior Court rules. (5/3/2005)

Can you sue the post office?
High Court to decide if Pa. woman can sue for csrelessly delivered mail. (6/2/2005)

Bus driver can't collect UM benefits from school dist.
School district not liable for injured employee’s UM benefits. (4/29/2005)

Consumer victory for insureds
Insured can plead, prove and recover even if no subrogation of workers' comp benefits, Superio Ct. rules. (4/28/2005)

Court affirms preclusion of testimony under Frye
A trial judge did not err in precluding the testimony of an expert on psychiatric drugs because it did not meet the qualifications of the Frye standard, Super. Ct. memo. opinion

High/low agreement valid in med-mal case
A high/low agreement between parties in a medical negligence case is valid and enforceable. (4/27/2005)

Pa. Department cracking down on bad docs
State agency reports increase in disciplinary actions taken against incompetent docs. (4/27/2005)

Privilege log of defendant hospital not discoverable
Hospital documents used for physician credentialing are not discoverable as they are protected under the Peer Review Protection Act. (4/26/2005)

Pedestrian who fell on uneven sidewalk not negligent
Pedestrian who fell on uneven sidewalk not negligent, Superior Ct. rules; expert required to prove causation against PECO. (4/25/2005)

Sum from 3rd-party settlement does not waive employer's lien
Acceptance of 3rd-party settlement does waive future medical expenses, Commonwealth Ct. rules. (4/22/2005)

Verdict in civil case comprised of all interrog. responses
"Parsing" of verdict form would result in impermissible alteration of five-sixths rule, Superior Ct. rules. (4/21/2005)

Temporary policy takes effect once premium is cashed
Interim life insurance policy starts once premium check is cashed. (4/20/2005)

Skier's injuries not 'inherent risk'
Skier’s injuries caused by drunken snow boarder not inherent risk, Superior Ct. rules, by Scott B. Cooper, Esq. (4/20/2005)

Data shows increase in number of physicians
Map shows physician "shortage" a myth (4/19/2005)

Court rules on amending NCP for injured worker
Injured worker’s petition to review NCP treated like a claim petition, Supreme Ct. rules in Jeanes Hospital. (4/18/2005)

Time limit on expert's retirement measured from date of testimony
Under the MCARE Act, the Superior Court ruled that expert's testimony must be within 5 years of retirement

DPW not entitled to full reimbursement of medical costs
Dept. of Public Welfare may only assert lien for capitation payments, not full reimbursement of medical costs, Superior Ct. memorandum opinion. (4/15/2005)

Parents of deceased barred from seeking individual UM claims
Parents of woman killed in auto accident barred from seeking arbitration for individual claims under policy

Supreme Ct: Med-mal filings down again in '04
Supreme Court reports continued decline in med-mal case filings in Pennsylvania. (4/12/2005)

Work comp ruling on calculation of benefits
Injured worker’s wage calculation should not include depressed wages he received from prior injury, Supreme Court rules. (4/11/2005)

Employees claims not barred by Work Comp Act
Hospital employees’ claims for invasion of privacy not barred by Workers Compensation Act. (4/8/2005)

Asbestos claims estimated at $7 Bil.
Judge: Owens Corning must set aside $7 billion for asbestos exposure claims. (4/7/2005)

New Mcare ruling from Superior Ct.
Expert time-period under Mcare starts from date of testimony. (4/6/2005)

PennDOT immune from civil suit
PennDOT immune from civil suit alleging negligent condition of roadways. (4/5/2005)

Attorney's apparent authority not sufficent for settlement
Plaintiff attorney’s "apparent authority" insufficient to enter into settlement in med-mal claim. (4/4/2005)

Insurance Commissioner announces comp savings for employers
Employers to save an additional $32.5 million in comp costs in 2005; additional five percent savings available. (4/1/2005)

Statute of Limitations under Discovery Rule
Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules that it is irrelevant to application of discovery rule whether plaintiff's injury determined within S.O.L. (3/21/2005)

Municipal employer entitled to pension offset
Municipal employer permitted subrogation of third-party settlement and offset against injured policewoman’s disability pension. (3/29/2005)

Police and firemen ordered back to work as city greeters
City of Scranton orders injured police and firemen back to work or risk losing benefits. (3/29/2005)

Punitive damages permitted in negligent supervision case
Jury can award punitive damages for negligent supervision in molestation case against priest, Supreme Ct. rules. (3/28/2005)

New opinion from Eastern Dist. on household resident
The U.S. District Court (E.D.Pa.) ruled on March 16 in Prudential v. Epstein that the Prudential exclusion of "household resident" as applied in the case was ambiguous and invalid. (3/25/2005)

Acupuntcurist may be 'ostensible agent'
Acupuncturist can be ‘ostensible agent’ in burn injury case, Superior Court rules. (3/24/2005)

Reargument granted in UM case
Superior Court grants reargument in UM/UIM selection form case. (3/23/2005)

Sovereign immunity in guardrail case
Lack of guardrail is not a dangerous condition for which government immunity is waived. (3/22/2005)

Work Comp ruling on hearling loss
Denial of hearing loss claim is not violation of worker’s equal protection right. (3/21/2005)

Preclusion of expert testimony not retroactive application of MCARE
Expert qualifications under MCARE apply in case filed before statute was enacted. (3/18/2005)

Amicus Update: Supreme Ct. hears cases
Amicus Update: Pa. Supreme Court hears argument on workers’ comp and product safety cases. (3/17/2005)

Court: No evidence to support co-defendants' cross claims in med-mal case
Granting non-suit to defendant hospital proper for cross claims by co-defendant physicians, Superior Ct. rules. (3/16/2005)

New trial granted in auto case
Man injured in rear-end accident granted new trial where jury’s verdict was against the weigh of the evidence. (3/15/2005)

ATLA: Texas study proves no link between med-mal verdicts and premiums
Groundbreaking study demonstrates med-mal verdicts not the cause of Texas doctors’ rapid rise in insurance premiums. (3/14/2005)

Benefits denied to worker struck by car while crossing hwy.
Court rules that he was not acting within course and scope of his employment. (3/14/2005)

Call for caps on pain and suffering
Medical Society chief calls for limits on victims’ pain and suffering damages to reduce liability premiums. (3/11/2005).

Lackawanna judge grants judgment of bad faith
A Lackawanna Common Pleas judge has granted a plaintiff partial summary judgment in a bad faith case against her automobile insurance company. (3/10/2005)

Pondimin claim barred
Plaintiff’s claim barred against diet drug under assumption of risk doctrine. (3/9/2005)

Supersedeas fund opinion from Cmwlth. Ct.
Employer not entitled to supersedeas reimbursements for benefits to injured worker. (3/8/2005)

Tort reformers now looking at asbestos, med-mal
Insurance industry newsletter reports insurers now setting their sights on vicims of exposure and medical negligence. (3/7/2005)

Plaintiff in negligence case not entitled to discovery of fincnacial worth
Plaintiff injured in auto accident not entitled to discovery of defendant’s financial worth. (3/7/2005)

Consumer group applauds refunding of doctors' premiums
Nat’l consumer group applauds Washington Insurance Commissioner for refunding premiums to doctors. (3/4/2005)

A new study reports mistakes lead to tens of thousands of patient deaths
Nat’l nursing organization which co-sponsored study says hospitals must improve workplace communication to reduce medical errors, enhance quality of care. (3/3/2005)

Data bank records not discoverable
Records in Nat'l Practitioner Data Bank immune from discovery, Superior Ct. rules. (3/3/2005)

Court grants new trial over cross of expert witness
Questioning of expert doctor’s probationary status on unrelated matter gives injured plaintiff new trial. (3/2/2005)

Drug maker okays Fen-Phen settlement
Diet drug maker Wyeth continues with settlement process for plaintiffs who opted out of class action. (3/2/2005)

MS drug pulled off market
The new Multiple Sclerosis drug Tysabri was pulled off the market after one patient died and another suffered serious side effects (3/1/2005)

Tpke Commisssion not entitled to offset
Tpke Commission not entitled to offset in negligence case. (2/28/2005)

New rules for personal care homes approved
The state has approved changes to the personal care homes industry. (2/25/2005)

Geisinger to raise rates 20 percent
The Pa. Insurance Department has approved a 20% rate increase for Geisinger customers (2/24/2005)

Arbitration award modified
Judge modifies UIM arbitration award for Pa. man injured in Ohio. (2/23/2005)

Voters not concerned with med-mal
Poll: So-called ‘med-mal crisis’ not on voters’ radar. (2/22/2005)

A worker’s testimony of sex harassment not sufficient for psychological injury
A worker’s testimony of sexual harassment by a supervisor not sufficient for psychological injury claim. (2/22/2005)

Bush to sign class-action bill today
The so-called Class Action Fairness Act will move large multistate class-action lawsuits out of state courts and into federal courts. (2/18/2005)

AP: House to pass class action bill today
AP: U.S. House to put final stamp on moving class action suits to federal court. (2/17/2005)

Court confirms arbitrator's award in UM/UIM case
Superior Ct. confirms arbitrator’s award in UM/UIM selection form case. (2/17/2005)

Trial lawyers push for legislative reforms
PaTLA will testify today before the House Judiciary Committee on issues impacting injured victims and their families. (2/16/2005)

Fall from examining table not compensable
Fall from examining table involves claims of medical malpractice—not ordinary negligence, Superior Ct. rules. (2/16/2005)

Lawmaker introduces anti-consumer bills
Turzai proposes legislation calling for damage caps, abolishing joint & several. (2/15/2005)

Punitive award satisfies test in bad faith case
Third Circuit upholds punitive award in bad faith case. (2/15/2005)

Push for caps losing steam?
An article in the Pa. Law Weekly reports that doctors groups may be losing credibility. (2/14/2005)

Supreme Ct. clarifies Cert. of Merit rule
Certificate of Merit need not specifically identify the licensed professionals involved in alleged misconduct. (2/11/2005)

Lawmaker seeks measures to rein in on med-mal insurers
Bills would help bring "stability" to the medical malpractice insurance market. (2/11/2005)

Senate passes class-action bill
Bill is certain to pass in the House and be signed by the President as early as next week, (2/11/2005)

2 state agencies not separate under Comp Act
PennDOT and state police not “separate enterprises” under Workers’ Comp, Commonwealth Court rules. (2/10/2005)

Association resumes Victims' Stories
Trial lawyers resume Victims’ Stories with compelling tale of woman who lost her hands and feet due to her doctors’ negligence. (2/9/2005)

Civil rule on damages applies in plaintiff's arbitration
An injured plaintiff awarded $4,000 through arbitration is permitted to use documentary evidence of his damages pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. 1311.1(a). (2/9/2005)

Comp and terrorism?
Workers' comp insurers to be hardest hit if Terrorism Insurance Act not extended. (2/9/2005)

Victims of medical negligence in D.C. today
Center for Justice & Democracy: Patients losing patience - medical malpractice and drug victims travel to D.C. to fight legislation, demand meeting with Bush. (2/8/2005)

Non-ERISA insurer has limited right of subrogation
New Superior Ct. case pits anti-subrogation clause of MVFRL against ERISA preemption. (2/7/2005)

Cut attorney fees in comp, state ctte. recommends
State budget committee recommends cutting attorney fees in workers’ comp cases. (2/4/2005)

Legislator proposes med-mal screening
Clearfield Co. Rep. Camille "Bud" George proposes screening board for med-mal cases. (2/3/2005)

City liable in accident near state hwy.
Municipality would be secondarily liable in accident occurring near state highway. (2/2/2005)

Health insurer waives subrogation
Health insurer waived subrogation when it failed to act within reasonable time. (2/1/2005)

6-yr. SOL for 534 claims
6-year SOL for injuries brought under Act 534, Commonwealth Ct. rules. (1/28/2005)

Injured plaintiff's claim not time-barred
Injured plaintiff’s med-mal claim not time-barred, Superior Ct. rules. (1/27/2005)

Alleg. judge rules on surveillance tape discovery
Secret video of injured plaintiff may only be disclosed after a deposition, Allegheny judge rules. (1/26/2005)

Glaxo settles in workers' rights case
Inquirer: Glaxo agrees to pay $5.2 million in workers’ rights suit; Reuters: Court reinstate McDonald's obesity suit. (1/26/2005)

Court rules on injured officer's mental/physical injury
Mere presence of mental stress in officer’s cardiac injury not sufficient to disregard credible evidence that physical activity contributed substantially. (1/25/2005)

A.P.: Docs tell of Merck's Vioxx dismay
Merck & Co. forced one of its researchers to remove her name from a study linking Vioxx to heart attacks, AP reports. (1/25/2005)

Courts must follow objective test for misconduct
Courts must follow "objective test" for etermining post-verdict allegations of prejudice in med-mal trial. (1/24/2005)

A.P.: Mountour woman accuses surgeon of leaving instrument in uteris
AP: Montour woman accuses surgeon of leaving instrument in her uterus PA Health Dept. does not require instrument counts. (1/21/2005)

Delco. judge denies excess UIM coverage
Insured who failed to obtain consent for settling claims is ineligible for excess UIM benefits through personal policy. (1/20/2005)

Concessionaire must pay $75M to victims of drunk driver
Jury rules Philadelphia- based Aramark responsible for young victim of a driver it served alcohol. (1/20/2005)

Claim of negligence based on res ipsa loquitur can continue
Injured man may pursue claim of negligence on basis of Res Ipsa Loquitur even though other negligence claims against other co-defendants. (1/19/2005)

Stay sought in diet drug litigation
Wyeth and certain lawyers representing thousands of filed lawsuits have jointly asked the Philadelphia Federal District Court to approve a stay of litigation. (1/19/2005)

Comp carriers must share liability
Comp carriers must share liability for worker’s separate injuries, Commonwealth Court rules. (1/18/2005)

Centre Co. hires comp. risk assessor
The Centre Daily Times reports that the county has hired a risk management assessor on comp. (1/14/2005)

Disabled victims of abuse face uphill battle
Disabled fighting two battles: ending abuse by caregivers and raising awareness. (1/14/2005)

PaTLA President responds to doctors' lawsuits
Doctors gouged by insurance companies shouldn’t be going after lawyers, says state trial lawyers’ president. (1/13/2005)

Society should pay for doctors' mistakes
Society should pay for doctors’ insurance, says former U.S. Treasury Secretary. (1/13/2005)

Supreme CT. denies petition in UM case
Supreme Ct. denies plaintiff’s motion in UM/UIM rejection form case. (1/12/2005)

Asbestos compensation plan details
Specter details compensation of asbestos victims under proposed plan, Bloomberg reports. (1/12/2005)

Papers blast Bush tort reform plan
This week, major newspapers around the U.S. opposed the President’s plan to severely cap pain and suffering awards in medical negligence cases. (1/11/2005)

Court rules in UIM sign-down case
Change in liability coverage requires request for lowered UM/UIM limits, Superior Ct. rules. (1/10/2005)

$2.5M verdict in Fen-Phen case
Jury finds Wyeth liable for $2.5M in Fen-Phen case. (1/7/2005)

State motion rule applies in SEPTA case
30-day rule of civil procedure deadline controls in personal injury claim brought by SEPTA employee. (1/6/2005)

Caps not the answer, says atty.
Damage caps will not reduce premiums, says atty. who fought Calif. med-mal hikes. (1/5/2005)

Ct. addreses 'jerk or jolt' doctrine in bus injury case
Doctor’s testimony on severity of injury insufficient to satisfy requirement of "jerk or jolt" doctrine, Commonwealth Ct. rules. (1/5/2005)

Specter offers asbestos trust-fund bill
Specter offers asbestos trust-fund bill, Washington Post reports. (1/5/2005)

Turnpike crash victims' claims barred
Survivors of tragic turnpike crash barred from pursuing negligence claim under sovereign immunity. (1/4/2005)

Court addresses 'fellow employee' limitation
Employer must show similarly situated employees to invoke “fellow employee” limitation. (1/3/2005)

Corman issues new tort reform memo
Sen. Jake Corman's (R-Centre) co-sponsorship memo on tort reform. (1/27/2005)

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