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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Steltz v. Meyers

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court because "the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial based on a single, unanswered question proposed to an expert witness." Steltz sued Dr. Meyers and alleged the doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose and disclose the existence…

Steltz v. Meyers
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court because “the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial based on a single, unanswered question proposed to an expert witness.” Steltz sued Dr. Meyers and alleged the doctor was negligent in failing to diagnose and disclose the existence of a muscle tear, which… Continue reading Steltz v. Meyers

Commonwealth v. Williams
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Williams appealed after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder and related charges. On appeal, he made two primary arguments. First, Williams asserted the trial court erred when it denied his pretrial motion, which challenged the admissibility of the Commonwealth expert’s testimony regarding forensic video analysis. Second, Williams claimed the trial court erred when it… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Williams

Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.
New Jersey Appellate Division

In Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., two defendants appealed from a judgment, which awarded the plaintiffs $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages, and other orders entered by the trial court during the course of this litigation. The defendants’ primary argument on appeal was that the trial court erred by admitting expert testimony. The… Continue reading Lanzo v. Cyprus Amax Minerals Co.

Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hosp.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hosp., the defendants in a medical negligence matter appealed after a jury found in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendants claimed that they should have been awarded a JNOV because the plaintiff’s expert did not testify “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty” that the defendants’ actions caused the injury.… Continue reading Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hosp.

Sullivan v. Werner Co.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Sullivan v. Werner Co., the plaintiff (no relation to Sullivan of S | S) filed a strict products liability action after he fell through a scaffold made by Werner Company and sold by Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (collectively, Manufacturer). A jury determined that a design defect caused the accident and awarded $2.5 million in damages. On… Continue reading Sullivan v. Werner Co.

Povrzenwich v. Ripepi
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Povrzenwich v. Ripepi, a medical malpractice suit, Plaintiff appealed the judgment entered in her favor. Plaintiff, the verdict winner below, contended that she was entitled to a new trial limited to damages because the trial court erroneously precluded the testimony of her expert life care planner, a nurse, as to Plaintiff’s future medical expenses.… Continue reading Povrzenwich v. Ripepi

In re M.R. involved consolidated appeals in which the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (“DHS”) appealed from the orders adjudicating dependent M.R. and his twin sister, J.R. (collectively, “Children”), but not finding child abuse as to the parents. At issue in the appeals was whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting the testimony… Continue reading In re M.R.

In State v. Gerena, the Appellate Division declined to follow precedent from the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals. If you practiced in front of the Court of Errors and Appeals, you probably expect cocaine to be in your next bottle of Coca Cola. Instead, the Appellate Division held that it is within the… Continue reading State v. Gerena

Commonwealth v. Jones
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In Commonwealth v. Jones, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that opinion testimony from a detective, who was not qualified as an expert, concerning the behavior of a child victim in response to sexual abuse, informed by that detective’s training and experience, constituted expert testimony under PA Rules of Evidence 701 and 702. The Court then… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Jones

Commonwealth v. Chmiel
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In Commonwealth v. Chmiel, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered an appeal from the denial of PCRA relief in a capital case. The defendant challenged the microscopic hair analysis used at his trial. The Court took “this opportunity to admonish that testifying examiners must acknowledge the inherent limitations and assiduously avoid the forms of over-claiming and… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Chmiel