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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Penn Nat'l Mut. Casualty Ins. Co. v. Phillips

An insurance company started an action in subrogation after paying its insured for injuries suffered in a car crash caused by the defendant. A default judgment was entered, and, on appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court dealt with the defendant's petition to strike or open the default judgment. At issue was…

Penn Nat’l Mut. Casualty Ins. Co. v. Phillips
Pennsylvania Superior Court

An insurance company started an action in subrogation after paying its insured for injuries suffered in a car crash caused by the defendant. A default judgment was entered, and, on appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court dealt with the defendant’s petition to strike or open the default judgment. At issue was attention to detail: a misspelled… Continue reading Penn Nat’l Mut. Casualty Ins. Co. v. Phillips

Jordan v. Pa. State Univ.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

A former PSU football player sued the school and its medical center following surgery to repair an injury suffered during a practice for a bowl game. The trial court sustained the defendants’ preliminary objections and dismissed the action, denied his request for recusal, and held him in contempt. The former athlete fared no better before… Continue reading Jordan v. Pa. State Univ.

Altice USA, Inc. v. N.J. Bd. of Pub. Util.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit revisited Younger abstention. New Jersey Law requires cable television providers to prorate bills when customers start or cancel service mid-month. But a cable provider did not comply with that rule. When the State’s regulatory agency brought an action, the cable provider responded by filing suit in federal court, claiming that the federal… Continue reading Altice USA, Inc. v. N.J. Bd. of Pub. Util.

Turner v. Estate of Baird
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Two neighbors fought over an abandoned roadway between their properties. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania vacated the lower court’s ruling and held it lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the township was an interested and indispensable party to this action. The township had not formally vacated the street; instead, the municipality simply stopped maintaining and using… Continue reading Turner v. Estate of Baird

Burton v. Schamp
3rd Circuit

In these consolidated appeals from prisoners’ civil rights actions, a magistrate judge dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaints before the defendants consented to the magistrate’s jurisdiction. The Third Circuit vacated the dismissal orders and remanded to the District Court. The Third Circuit noted that a magistrate judge could acquire jurisdiction to decide the case only by the… Continue reading Burton v. Schamp

Jones v. McGreevy
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court dove deep into the creditor-debtor practice and post-trial civil procedure in this 41-page opus. The case started when a contract for the sale of two vintage shotguns fell through. The seller sought to garnish the buyer’s bank accounts to recover the money he was owed. A bench trial was held on… Continue reading Jones v. McGreevy

Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an opinion straight out of your first-year CivPro book. Pennsylvania requires any corporation that does business in the state to register with the Department of State. The Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Title renders any corporation registered with the state subject to the courts’ personal jurisdiction. Here, a Virginia resident filed… Continue reading Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co.

CPR Mgmt., S.A. v. Devon Park Bioventures, L.P.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit found itself at the tail end of arbitration and litigation that spanned multiple countries, at least three state courts, and the federal courts. Deutsche Bank loaned money to a company, and that company used the money to partner with and acquire the defendant. But when Deutsche Bank issued margin calls on the… Continue reading CPR Mgmt., S.A. v. Devon Park Bioventures, L.P.

IRS v. Blue Mountain Ministry, Inc.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court clarified the difference between a judgment and a lien — and sidestepped ruling on the defendants’ claim that the IRS is a for-profit Delaware corporation, which is merely a debt collector. After the IRS placed a lien on their property, the defendants argued in the Court of Common Pleas that the… Continue reading IRS v. Blue Mountain Ministry, Inc.

Polansky v. Exec. Health Res. Inc.
3rd Circuit

The False Claims Act empowers private citizens to bring claims for fraud on behalf of the United States “not unlike the bounty hunting common in the rough-and-tumble world of the mid-nineteenth century.” Private citizens who bring these cases are called “relators” and can receive up to 30 percent of the funds recovered in what are… Continue reading Polansky v. Exec. Health Res. Inc.