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.

Continue Reading Don’t Throw Snowballs (or Rocks) at Cars!

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.

Continue Reading Another Setback for Pennsylvania Landlords

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.

Continue Reading Restaurant’s Challenge to COVID-19 Declarations Could Go to Bankruptcy Court

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.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Department of Health August Report Provides Insight on Nursing Home Updates

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.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported that a Beaver County, PA rehabilitation facility gave the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine to more than 200 of its residents without approval from the Department of Health.

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, in Brighton, PA, has had one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the state. Reports state that due to Covid-19, Brighton has had more than 300 resident cases, over 100 staff cases, and 73 resident deaths. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed earlier this year, the family of a Brighton staff member who died of Covid-19 alleged that the virus had spread through the facility unchecked.

Continue Reading Pennsylvania Rehab Facility with Covid-19 Outbreak Gave Residents Hydroxychloroquine Without Approval

COVID-19 is causing more than public health and economic issues in the United States.

A July 16, 2020 report in the Wall-Street Journal reported on new proposed legislation that would address liability issues in COVID-19 patient care. As cases continue to spike across the country, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are working on a measure that would give federal courts jurisdiction over personal injury and medical liability claims due to COVID-19.

Continue Reading Senate Aims for Federal Jurisdiction Over COVID-Related Personal Injury and Medical Liability Claims

In our high-tech world of Snapchat, Groupme and text messaging, individuals are often sharing intimate photos or videos with their romantic partners via cellphones. Additionally, with the prevalence of in-home security cameras, webcams, and cellphone video technology, it is easier than ever for an individual to record intimate interactions without their partner’s consent or knowledge. Even when consent is provided by both parties for the recording of such intimate interaction, there usually is not consent to share and distribute such recordings with others outside of the relationship.

Continue Reading Victims of Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Images Can Seek Justice