Two Penn Center Plaza - Suite 610
1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102

215-972-6600

228 Kings Highway, East
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

856-428-2122

CASE LAW DECISIONS

Mental Health

• Heil v. Brown, 443 Pa. Super. 502, 662 A.2d 669 (1995)

Mental health facility does not owe a duty to warn an unidentified, unforeseeable third party.

• Brown v. The Devereux, U.S. Dist. Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) CA 94 3125, (1991).  (Parents and patient failed to show gross negligence or wrongful misconduct – summary judgment granted.)

 

Civil Rights/Government Liability

• Szydlowski v. City of Philadelphia and Acme Markets, Inc., 134 F.Supp. 2d 636, (2001).  (Summary Judgment granted on claims of Fourth Amendment violation, false arrest, false imprisonment and common law assault and battery.)

Muhammad v. Weis, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No.08-3616 (October 6, 2009).  (Pro Se Claims for Civil Rights Violations Dismissed against Police Office, Town and Borough Officials)

• Boyd v. Southern Home Servs., Civil Action No. 94-3019, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1996 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6742, (May 17, 1996).  (Even though residential child care facility was heavily funded by the state and was closely regulated by the state department of human services, the facility did not engage in state action when it terminated an employee.)

• Sweeney v. Merrymead Farm and The Montgomery County Health Department, 799 A.2d 202, 972 Pa. Commonwealth 493 Montgomery County Health Department (June 7, 2002).  (Montgomery County Health Department held immune from suit in multiple claims arising from e.coli exposure at Merrymead Farms. The county was dismissed by preliminary objection, prior to engaging in lengthy and protracted discovery. The decision was affirmed by the Commonwealth Court.)

• Tittensor v. Merrymead Farm and The Montgomery County Health Department, C.A. No. 02-CV-8011, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18159 (September 9, 2003).  (Plaintiffs did not set forth claims sufficient to support “State Created Danger.” Plaintiff tried to circumvent Commonwealth Courts affirmation of grant of preliminary objections on behalf of Montgomery County.)

• Thomas v. Larson, et al., C. A. No. 00-999, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1941 (February 27, 2001).

 

Employment

• Maccord v. Christian Academy, Civil Action No. 96-5479, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1997 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1811 (February 19, 1997).  (To the extent that a school promised to renew a teacher’s contract by using the word “tenure” in the teacher’s contract and despite claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against the school, case dismissed by Motion for Summary Judgment.)

• Steffenino v. G.G.D., Jr., Inc., Civil Action No. 94-5333, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1995 U.S. Dist. Lexis 5083 (April 17, 1995).  (The employer was entitled to the dismissal of the employee’s claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress because her claim was barred by exclusivity provision of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.)

 

Subrogation

• Mount Olivet Tabernacle Church v. Emerson Electric, 571 Pa. Co. 811 A.2d 565; Re-argument denied;  Cert denied U.S. Supreme Court, (June 2, 2003).  (Spoliation of evidence – no duty to preserve fire scene. Verdict in excess of one million dollars.)

• Oxford Presbyterian v. Weil, 738 A.2d 1063, 1999 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2262 (Ps. Super. Ct. 1999).

• Holy Cross Lutheran Church v. S. Kane & Sons, Inc., (confidential settlement – ostensible agency – insurance company Bad Faith.)

 

Insurance Coverage

• Hynes v. Snyder, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Bankruptcy No. 08-15634, Adversary No. 09-0079 (December 14, 2009) (insurer has no obligation to defend or indemnify insured construction contractor for homeowner’s claim arising out of alleged failure to disclose defects in home)

• Lincoln General Insurance Company v. Adames, et al., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, no. 4600, February Term 2009 (December 21, 2009) (insurer has no obligation to indemnify insured for default judgment where insurer had no notice of action until after entry of default)

• Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company, et al., v. Markel Insurance Company, et al., Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery County, no. 06-30737 (August 12, 2009) (insurer has no obligation to defend or indemnify additional insured Borough for personal injury claim by family member of participant in football game on Borough’s playing field where plaintiff’s injuries did not arise out of activities of named insured football team)

• Markel International Insurance Co. v. 2421 Salam, Inc., et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, nos. 08-2484 and 08-1052 (April 30, 2009)(assault and battery exclusion in bar owner’s policy barred coverage for claims by families of patrons who were killed in shooting at bar)

• Essex Insurance Company v. RMJC, Inc., et al., United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, no. 07-4528 (January 7, 2009)(where assault and battery exclusion barred coverage for claim by patron of insured strip club who was injured in assault by club’s bouncer, insurer was entitled to reimbursement of money paid on behalf of insured to satisfy judgment in underlying action)

• Investors Insurance Co. of America v. Tacony Palmyra Billiards Club, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, no. 06-CV-04368 (August 12, 2008)(assault and battery exclusion in billiard club’s policy barred coverage for claim by patron who was assaulted after leaving club)

• Acceptance Ins. Co. v. Segal, Segal & Lieberman, Civil Action No. 93-0299, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1994 U.S. Dist. Lexis 329, (January 14, 1994).  (An insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify a partnership where the policy endorsement listed the individuals comprising the partnership as additional insureds without indicating that they were partners.)

• Acceptance v. Battersby Assocs., CA 97-5098, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis 17984, (November 9, 1998).  (An insurance company had no duty to defend and indemnify an insured because based on the plain language of the insurance policy, the policy specifically excluded bodily injury caused by an assault and/or battery.)

• Altipenta, Inc. v. Acceptance Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 96-5752, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1997 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6879, (May 13, 1997).  (Assault and battery exclusion to liquor liability policy relieved insurance company from liability and duty to defend in the underlying case against the insured for personal injuries to patrons occurring at the hands of third party.)

• Agway Ins. Co. v. Goodville Mutual Casualty, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 48 Fed. Appx 37; 2002 (3d Cir. 2002).  (Insurer not obligated to provide coverage under Farm Personal Liability policy for damage and injury resulting from escape of steer during unloading of truck by insured.)

• Old Republic v. State Farm Ins. Co., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, C.A. No. 00-CV-3030.  (Successful on behalf of excess insurer in seeking reimbursement from primary homeowners and co-excess carrier. Underlying case involved quadriplegia of Marple Newtown wrestler.)

• Finck and Sosinavage v. Royal & Sun Alliance, (Royal & SunAlliance wrongfully denied UM coverage for injuries and death caused by an uninsured third party based upon non-owned vehicle exclusion. Policy limit extended to liability limit and stacked.)

• Turner v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 95-3489, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 894 F.Supp. 191; 1995 U.S. Dist. Lexis 10858, (August 1, 1995).  (Where a church van passenger was injured in an accident with another vehicle but driver of that vehicle was not at fault, the passenger had no claim for uninsured motorist coverage against the church’s insurer.)

• General Accident Ins. Co. v. American Ins. Co., CA-99-3869 – U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, (January 27, 2000).  (Excess insurer not obligated to contribute its proportionate share of defense costs.)

• Nationwide Insurance Company v. Campbell, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, C.A. No. 02-CV-7327.

• Aardvark Child Care & Learning Center, Inc. v. Markel Insurance Company, United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12197 (E.D. Pa. June 23, 2003).  (Insurer had no duty to defend action brought by a three-year-old child and his mother against insured day care center alleging violation of Americans with Disabilities Act.)

 

Personal Injury

• Coates v. Fluidics, Inc., Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, No. 090202972 (April 7, 2011).  (Defense verdict in case involving electric shock injuries to worker performing pre-bid survey of HVAC equipment of premises.)

• Canawill Inc. v. Edens Corp., et al, No. 080503203 (May 27, 2011).  (Defense verdict insurance agents errors and omissions case in which insured claimed negligence on the part of the agent with respect to the cancellation of policies.)

• Pierce v. Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines, Chester County Court of Common Pleas, No.07-10716 (January 15, 2010).  (Defense verdict-fractured back of 37 year old plaintiff while participating in “Paper Chase” event at farm. Plaintiff alleged permanent injuries, lost wages and loss of future income. Equine Immunity Act did not apply. Jury found that Ryerss was not negligent.)

• Selby v Goodman, et al., Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, No. 1084, June Term 2008((August 14, 2009).  (Preliminary Objections to Amended Complaint granted that no liability exists for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Negligent and Intentional Inflictions of Emotional Distress, Negligent Hiring, Retention or Supervision of Pastor allegedly involved in illicit relationship with adult member of Church.)

• Kristine Murray v. Orie Kindy, Bucks County CCP, No. 04-5509-28-2 (October 2, 2008).  (Partial summary judgment granted on all claims for non-economic loss because plaintiff’s injuries did not satisfy the limited tort threshold under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law).

• Desmond Vega, a minor v. First Assembly of God Church,et al, New Jersey Superior Court, Salem County, No. L-0054-07 (April 2008).  (Summary Judgment on behalf of client based on Charitable Immunity defense for action involving brain injury to minor plaintiff during altercation following youth group meeting at church.)

• Nakayla Council, a minor v. Urban Promise Ministries, Inc., New Jersey Superior Court, Camden County, No. L-6544-07 (May 2008).  (Summary Judgment on behalf of client school for injuries sustained by minor plaintiff when she was struck by a car while crossing street between school facilities.)

• Mamta Verma v. Westover Companies, et al., Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, No.: 05-1350.  (Defense verdict following trial of slip and fall case on ice patch in parking lot of client apartment building. Plaintiff sustained fractured patella in fall. Jury found no negligence on the part of apartment complex.)

• Harry Brango v. Frederic E. Liss, M.D., Chester County Court of Common Pleas, No.: 04-07450.  (Defense verdict in medical malpractice action in which plaintiff asserted defendant orthopedic surgeon severed his radial nerve during surgical reduction of wrist fracture).

• Savoy v. Federal Building Services, Montgomery County Court of Common Please, No. 01886, (March 6, 2013).  (Defense verdict for slip and fall on water allegedly left by defendant’s cleaning activities.)

• Almanzar v. Federal Building Services, New Jersey Superior Court, Essex County, No. L-6204-11, (June 13, 2013).  (Defense verdict for slip and fall on transitory condition in mall.)

• Atlantic and Cape May Counties Joint Insurance Fund v. S.A. Comunale Co., Inc., N.J. Superior Court, Atlantic County, No. L-5617-12, (February 14, 2014).  (Summary judgement granted on waiver of subrogation language in contract despite plaintiff’s argument that Joint Insurance Fund was self-insured and not subject to waiver.)

 

 

 

 

 

Savoy v Federal Building Services, Montgomery County Court of Common Please, No. 01886, (March 6, 2013).  Defence verdict for slip and fall on water allegedly left by changes cleaning activities.

Almanzar v Federal Building Services, New Jersey Superior Court, Essex County, No. L-6204-11, (June 13, 2013).  Defense verdict for slip and fall on transitioning condition in mall.

Atlantic and Cape May Counties Joint Insurance Fund v. S.A. Comunale Co., Inc., N.J. Superior Court, Atlantic County, No. L-5617-12 (February 14, 2014).  Summary judgement granted on waiver of subrogation language in contract despite it’s argument that Joint Insurance Fund was self-insured and not subject to waiver.