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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Rice v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

Rice alleged Reverend Bodziak of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown sexually abused her from approximately 1974 through 1981. She did not sue until June 2016, thirty-five years after the alleged abuse stopped. The trial court dismissed the case. The Superior Court reversed. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the proper application of…

Rice v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Rice alleged Reverend Bodziak of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown sexually abused her from approximately 1974 through 1981. She did not sue until June 2016, thirty-five years after the alleged abuse stopped. The trial court dismissed the case. The Superior Court reversed. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the proper application of the statute of limitations to… Continue reading Rice v. Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

This interlocutory appeal resulted from a dismissal order and raised novel issues of legal duty and tort liability in a drunk driving context. The issues concerned whether a volunteer who assures police officers at a roadside stop of an apparently inebriated driver that he will take the driver and his car safely to a residence—but… Continue reading Diaz v. Reynoso

Adams v. Rising Sun Med. Ctr.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Adams v. Rising Sun Med. Ctr., the Superior Court dealt with cross appeals from a wrongful death and survival jury trial.  The administratrix of the decedent’s estate wanted to testify that she was present when the decedent told a doctor about her family’s medical history. According to the plaintiff, this evidence was admissible as… Continue reading Adams v. Rising Sun Med. Ctr.

Graham v. Check
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In Graham v. Check, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did its best to settle the question of what evidence must be presented at trial to merit a “sudden emergency” jury instruction.  Here, the defendant was driving and struck the plaintiff, a pedestrian. The sudden emergency doctrine allows for an affirmative defense where an individual will not… Continue reading Graham v. Check

Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp.
3rd Circuit

After receiving an answer to its certified question from the New Jersey Supreme Court, the 3rd Circuit ruled in Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp. The Court had to determine whether the nature of the actions Sun Chemical brought regarding an industrial accident was based on “something was wrong” with a piece of equipment, or… Continue reading Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp.

S.H. v. K & H Transport
New Jersey Appellate Division

S.H. v. K & H Transport involved a 17-year-old special-needs student at the time of the events at issue. S.H. sued the bus company that transported her to and from school. The trial court ruled that the bus company did not have a duty “to protect against the alleged injury”—sexual assault—and that no reasonable person… Continue reading S.H. v. K & H Transport

Dobransky v. EQT Production
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Dobransky v. EQT Production, the Superior Court ruled that a person who merely drives a truck to deliver a single raw material to a well site is not a person whose work consists of “the removal, excavation, or drilling of soil, rock, or minerals” within Section 302(a) of the Workers’ Compensation Act.

McNellis-Wallace v. Hoffman
New Jersey Appellate Division

The Appellate Division ruled in McNellis-Wallace v. Hoffman that a malpractice attorney could not sustain a claim against successor attorneys for contribution and indemnification where the original attorney negligently failed to serve proper 90-day notice against a public employee under the state’s Tort’s Claim Act.

Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp. & Suppression Sys. Inc.
New Jersey Supreme Court

In Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp. & Suppression Sys. Inc., the NJ Supreme Court responded to a certified question from the 3rd Circuit, and in so doing, dealt a blow to tort-reform advocates. The Court held that the state’s Products Liabilities Act — which allows for only basic tort damages — does not preempt… Continue reading Sun Chem. Corp. v. Fike Corp. & Suppression Sys. Inc.

Albert v. Sheeley’s Drug Store
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Albert v. Sheeley’s Drug Store, a wrongful death action and survival claim, the decedent overdosed on Fentanyl that he and a friend obtained from a drug store with a prescription for the friend’s mom. The Superior Court joined numerous other jurisdictions in ruling that, pursuant to the in pari delicto doctrine, summary judgment for the… Continue reading Albert v. Sheeley’s Drug Store