Like most events in our lives these days, Sheriff Sales of real estate have gone virtual. Bucks County, Pennsylvania has joined Philadelphia, Montgomery, Berks, Adams, and Monroe Counties in holding virtual county Sheriff Sales. An online auction company, Bid4Assets, is used by each of these counties to produce virtual sales. The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office has held two virtual town halls to introduce the platform and answer the public’s questions regarding the change.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Please find several frequently asked questions regarding sexual abuse/assault, along with answers below.
If you are survivor of sexual abuse, do you have a viable civil claim?
Unfortunately, not all sexual abuse claims are viable civil cases. For an individual to have a viable civil sexual abuse claim, it is critical that there is a viable defendant who has the ability to compensate the victim for their injuries (mental and physical).
On March 24, 2021, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub arrested Dr. Richard Kondan for violating multiple components of the Drug Act. Dr. Kondan, 58, works in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Kondan was charged with illegally prescribing highly addictive opioid medications to at least 14 of his patients. In addition, the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office and Bucks County Detectives revealed that, for 16 years, Dr. Kondan failed to keep patient medical records up-to-date, increased dosages to inappropriate amounts, prescribed dangerous combinations of medications, and authorized refills without prior examinations. He has been officially charged with 14 counts of Unlawful Prescription of a Controlled Substance by a Practitioner.
Winter is coming – and with it comes snow, sleet, and freezing rain. In the Philadelphia area, the average yearly snowfall is 22.4 inches.
Winter driving is dangerous. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement every winter. Pennsylvania is one of the top five deadliest states for wintertime car accidents, often caused, at least in part, by poor visibility and road conditions. Be careful out there!
Another hazard, a preventable hazard, is also part of winter driving. While viewed by many as a harmless prank, PennDot cautions against throwing snowballs at cars due to the risk of causing an accident. A snowball thrown at a car can break a car’s windshield or cause a car accident by distracting the driver or causing the driver to swerve into adjacent or oncoming vehicles, or even pedestrians.
The Philadelphia Code places the burden upon both owners and tenants to remove snow and ice from their sidewalks. Chapter 10, Section 720 requires owners and tenants to thoroughly clear a path not less than 30 inches in width on all sidewalks bordering the building or premises within 6 hours after the snow or ice has ceased to fall. This ordinance further states that it shall be a violation to place snow or ice that has been removed from sidewalks in the street.
While the penalties for violating these provisions are relatively minor, ranging from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $300, failure to remove snow may expose residents to civil liability for amounts far greater than this in the event of an injury. If you have been seriously injured as a result of a fall on snow or ice, call an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance.
Although this winter season has already seen a great amount of snow accumulation, weather forecasters are predicting more snow will hit us in the coming weeks. Of course, all of this snow makes for dangerous walking conditions. As the amount of snow accumulation continues to increase, so does the chance of being hurt as a result of slipping on ice or snow.
There are a few things that you should do if you are hurt on someone’s property as a result of snow or ice. The first thing is to be sure that you seek medical attention. If you are seriously hurt, you should call 911 and wait for an ambulance.
Next, you should notify the property owner so that they may correct the dangerous condition. You do not want anyone else to be hurt as you were. Also, this will help prove that you were really hurt on their property. If you are hurt on a commercial property, they may want you to complete a report or give them a statement. Be careful when doing this. They will usually try to use whatever you tell them against you later.
Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. If possible, you should take pictures of the dangerous condition. If you have a digital camera or cell phone with a camera built in, take several pictures of the area where you were hurt. Pictures can be very valuable in proving that the dangerous condition existed. Also, it will prove that the property owner should have taken care of the condition before you were hurt. These pictures could help you win your case.
Your next call should be to an attorney that handles slip and fall cases. At Stark & Stark we handle these cases every day. We will have experts that will want to inspect the dangerous condition as soon as possible. Also, we will want to make sure that you are fully compensated for the damages that you suffered.
The Philadelphia Municipal Court issued an Order stopping service of writs of possession and alias writs in residential eviction cases. On November 6, 2020, the court directed that any writs previously issued in any residential case cannot be served until after December 31, 2020. However, landlords can seek relief from the Order with a showing of good cause to serve the writs.
A lawsuit filed by Allegheny County and the Allegheny County Health Department (“ACHD”) against The Cracked Egg, LLC may be transferred to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Cracked Egg is a restaurant located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Following an investigation by the ACHD in August, the restaurant was ordered to close because it did not comply with mask or facial coverings guidelines.
With summer being officially over, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has received the August reports of nursing home inspections. These inspection reports include information on patient care and building inspections. If a facility is not following regulations during the inspection, the facility will be cited. The facility must then submit a plan of action in order to correct the issues that were found during the inspection, including a completion date of the corrections. The Department of Health will then conduct a surprise follow-up inspection to ensure the issues have been resolved. The inspection reports are posted to the Department of Health’s website 41 days after they are completed.
On Monday, applications for the second round of funding under the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program were opened. Grants of between $5,000 and $50,000, depending on a business’ revenues, will be issued by Pennsylvania’s 17 Community Development Financial Institutions within two weeks of the application period closing. Funding for the grant program comes from federal stimulus money provided to the state through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.