Lawsuit Filed Under Pennsylvania’s Human Trafficking Law

Posted in Human Trafficking

In the first civil lawsuit under the Pennsylvania human trafficking statute, a hotel in Northeast Philadelphia has been accused of providing rooms to human traffickers. The statute establishes that businesses that directly or indirectly benefit from human trafficking can be forced to pay compensation to victims. A person commits an offense if the person knowingly traffics or knowingly attempts to traffic another person, knowing that the other person will be subjected to forced labor or services.

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Manufacturer Guarantees Surgical Sponge-Scanning System

Posted in Medical Malpractice

According to an article in Outpatient Surgery, every day, operating room (OR) teams nationwide leave almost a dozen surgical sponges inside their patients. To improve patient safety, Stryker implemented its “SurgiCount Safety-Sponge System” to keep track of surgical sponges. Reducing or eliminating the number of surgical sponges left behind reduces the risk of infection and permanent injury, the need for additional surgery, and even patient fatalities. Healthcare providers are hopeful to realize cost savings arising from legal expenses, malpractice settlements and awards, and non-reimbursable patient care.

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Handgun Regulation in Community Associations

Posted in Community Associations

An entire textbook and law school class could be devoted to the topic of handgun regulation. This article will focus on two recent United States Supreme Court (“Court”) decisions, briefly discuss some of the ways in which the Court’s decisions could apply to community associations, and identify practical issues that a community association should consider before embarking on any attempt to restrict handguns in its community. Any association interested in regulating firearms should consult experienced association counsel before embarking on such a task.

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Insufficient Insurance Coverage, Running With Play-Doh, and Other Risky Activities

Posted in Community Associations

As someone who manages risk for a living and can find potential liability in even the most mundane and (seemingly) harmless activities, I don’t get invited to many parties. Statements such as “Are you crazy!?! Those kids shouldn’t be running with an open container of Play-Doh” and “You do realize that mistletoe is poisonous” tend not to ingratiate me with the host and guests.

You can imagine my horror when a unit owner informs me that he doesn’t have his own property insurance. My horror increases when the unit owner informs me that the reason he doesn’t have insurance is his belief that he is covered by the condominium association’s insurance. For the record, your association’s property insurance does not adequately protect you. Add “Call Insurance Agent/Broker to Review Coverage” to your New Year’s Resolutions.

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Night of the Undead . . . Mortgages (Zombie Mortgages)

Posted in Community Associations

Spoiler alert! The zombie apocalypse in this article was not caused by a top secret government experiment, well-intentioned vaccination protocol, or ancient (and very cold) magic. The zombies discussed in this article were created by men and women garbed in Brooks Brothers (ok, probably Joseph A. Banks) and Anne Taylor. The zombies in question were created by stalled and abandoned foreclosure actions as well as a bank’s unwillingness to initiate foreclosure. Like their zombie relatives, zombie mortgages cause serious problems to the living mortgages and communities within their reach. Instead of eating brains like some of their zombie forbears, zombie mortgages eat the revenue stream flowing to community associations.

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Are Homeowners Responsible for Sidewalk Condition During Transition?

Posted in Community Associations

During the transition process from declarant to homeowner control of an association, one common area of dispute is the condition of the sidewalks. The new sidewalk surfaces may be scaling, cracking, spalling, discolored, holding water, or otherwise falling apart. The association attributes the condition of the sidewalks to defective construction and requests the declarant to repair or replace the crumbling sidewalks. The declarant blames the condition on the association’s use of de-icing chemicals (i.e. salt) and refuses to repair the sidewalks. This scenario is played out, time and again, throughout the Northeast. Continue Reading