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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Brown v. City of Oil City

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court heard an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The defendants were contractors who completed improvements to Oil City public library's exterior steps. Soon after completion of the project, the…

Brown v. City of Oil City
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court heard an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The defendants were contractors who completed improvements to Oil City public library’s exterior steps. Soon after completion of the project, the steps began to deteriorate. The… Continue reading Brown v. City of Oil City

E.S. v. Brunswick Inv. Ltd. P’ship
New Jersey Appellate Division

Brunswick Investment Limited Partnership (“Brunswick”) owned the premises where the plaintiff E.S., guardian ad litem for her two minor daughters, lived. Fred performed maintenance work for Brunswick at the property as well as others Brunswick owned. The plaintiff learned that Fred, who had worked in her unit, sexually assaulted her two daughters. The plaintiff sued,… Continue reading E.S. v. Brunswick Inv. Ltd. P’ship

Gilbert v. Stewart
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a cautionary tale for attorneys in its review of this professional malpractice action. The plaintiff — a probation officer — and her ex-husband hired the defendant to represent them in several municipal court matters. The municipal court cases resulted from a series of tickets the ex-husband accumulated on the… Continue reading Gilbert v. Stewart

Coleman v. Martinez
New Jersey Supreme Court

A tragic series of events led the New Jersey Supreme Court to issue a critical ruling regarding the duty of care in a negligence action. The case started with the Department of Child Protection and Permanency separating a mother from her children and referring the mother to the plaintiff, a licensed social worker. The plaintiff… Continue reading Coleman v. Martinez

Degliomini v. ESM Prod., Inc.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that an exculpatory release, signed by a participant in a charity bike ride and designed to immunize the City of Philadelphia, was unenforceable. The Court found that the release violated public policy because the City would have been immunized from an essential duty of public service. The plaintiff was injured when… Continue reading Degliomini v. ESM Prod., Inc.

Wise v. Huntingdon Cnty. Hous. Dev. Corp.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Wise v. Huntingdon Cnty. Hous. Dev. Corp. resulted from a negligence suit filed after the plaintiff tripped and fell on a sidewalk in a public housing development. The plaintiff claimed that insufficient lighting caused her fall and that the housing authority was liable for her injuries. The housing authority moved for summary judgment based on… Continue reading Wise v. Huntingdon Cnty. Hous. Dev. Corp.

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.

Maison v. New Jersey Transit Corp.
New Jersey Supreme Court

In Maison v. New Jersey Transit Corp., the Supreme Court reviewed a jury verdict for the plaintiff in a negligence action. In doing so, the Court was asked to determine whether, under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 to 59:12-3, the heightened duty-of-care standard governing private common carriers protects equally those people who… Continue reading Maison v. New Jersey Transit Corp.

Lapsley v. Twp. of Sparta
New Jersey Appellate Division

In Lapsley v. Twp. of Sparta, the Appellate Division reviewed an award of the Division of Workers’ Compensation for injuries suffered by a public librarian when she was struck by a snowplow while leaving work. The Workers’ Compensation judge held that the injury occurred on the employer’s premises because the librarian was in a parking… Continue reading Lapsley v. Twp. of Sparta

Leight v. Univ. of Pittsburgh Physicians
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In Leight v. Univ. of Pittsburgh Physicians, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt with third-party liability under the Mental Health Procedure Act, 50 P.S. § 7101et seq., in the context of preliminary objections. The case arose when a mentally-ill man went into a hospital and shot several people, including the plaintiff. The plaintiff survived and filed… Continue reading Leight v. Univ. of Pittsburgh Physicians