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

Trampoline Park Injuries

Posted in Personal Injury

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in the State of New Jersey the explosion of trampoline park openings continues. These facilities insist that lengthy Releases/Waivers of Liability are executed which purportedly bar any claims arising out of injury that may occur based on ordinary negligence of the facility or its employees or agents. If their actions were to rise to the level of recklessness there is the opportunity to vitiate, or make the waiver null and void. Interestingly in other jurisdictions that also have laws concerning waivers of liability and releases, litigation against these types of facilities are proceeding with some success.

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Ironworkers ZERO Fatality-Incident Campaign

Posted in Personal Injury

During the past year the Ironworkers ZERO Fatality-Incident Campaign commissioned by General President Eric Dean, and the IMPACT board of trustees, concentrated on training and communication measures to the improve safety for ironworkers while on the job. The overarching goal of the campaign is to improve safety skills and knowledge.

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Landlords Risk Exposure to Double Damages in Suits by Tenants

Posted in Business & Corporate

In Pennsylvania, residential and commercial lease agreements are governed not only by the terms of the lease itself, but also by the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951, 68 P.S. §§ 250.101, et. seq.

When a lease term ends, the landlord is required to provide a tenant with a list of damages caused to the premises within thirty days of the termination of the lease or repossession of the property.

In addition, the landlord must return any escrow monies held under the lease within that time period. If the landlord deducts any funds to pay for alleged damages to the premises, then the landlord must return the difference in the balance of the escrow funds to the tenant.

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Pennsylvania Beer Distributors Can Now Sell Six-Packs

Posted in Beer & Spirits

Gone are the days of having to buy a whole case of beer or a keg at a beer distributor in Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 1196 into law, which will allow beer distributors to sell six-packs to customers.

What does this mean for beer distributors, retailers, and consumers in Pennsylvania? Among other things, earlier retail sales hours. Retail licensees can begin selling on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. rather than 11:00 a.m. Sporting venues can sell mixed drinks. Breweries can sell products of other licensed breweries, limited wineries, limited distilleries, and distilleries without having to secure a brewery pub license. A person licensed in another state may apply for a license to ship beer to customers, with certain restrictions. Distributor licensees can sell malt or brewed beverages in any amount to an unlicensed customer for off-premises consumption. This includes four-packs, 32-ounce bottles, growlers, and six-packs.

This is another win for distributors who, earlier this year, the PLCB declared that they were permitted to sell 12-packs of beer. The new law goes into effect in 60 days.

Out-of-Work Employees Can Seek Unemployment Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania

Posted in Employment

An individual who is out of work in Pennsylvania may qualify for unemployment compensation benefits through the state government. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits is responsible for processing benefit requests and determining whether you are eligible to receive benefits.

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Practicing Defensive Medicine: The Doctor’s Cure for Malpractice

Posted in Medical Malpractice

“Defensive Medicine” is a phrase used when doctors order extra tests or perform additional procedures because they are concerned about being sued for “missing something.” However, studies do not support the idea that the extra tests or procedures are warranted and actually reduce the risk of a physician being sued.

In fact, numerous studies have shown that the greatest predictor of whether a physician is likely to be sued is whether he or she has been sued before. In other words, physicians who have been sued once are much more likely to be sued again. Between 1991 and 2005, 6% of all doctors in the United States were estimated to be responsible for 58% of all malpractice payments.

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