A recent ruling from Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas may have opened the door for a new and unique basis for punitive damages in Pennsylvania. In this specific case, the counsel for plaintiff has alleged that Marie Gulbin, an elderly woman, lost consciousness while driving her vehicle due to an untreated urinary tract infection (UTI). This caused her to cross into the opposing lane of traffic and hit the vehicle of Chrystal Clauss-Walton head on, resulting in severe injuries. The Plaintiff alleged that Gulbin decided to get behind the wheel despite suffering from known symptoms of a UTI, a condition she knew (or should have known), could cause fainting if left untreated.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that a contractual no-hire or “no poach” provision in a services contract between sophisticated business entities is not enforceable under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This important case is entitled Pittsburgh Systems, Inc. v. Beemac Trucking, et. al., case no. 31 WAP 2019.
Every year, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspection updates contractors and subcontractors on the requirements needed to operate in Philadelphia. While some requirements have been longstanding, workers and contractors should be aware and mindful of what is required of them to be permitted to perform construction and to help keep workers safe. To operate construction services in Philadelphia, one set of rules a contractor must follow is the Contractor Operational requirements. These are codes of conduct for both contractors and subcontractors which require, but are not limited to: a valid license, necessary operating permits, prohibition on selling or transferring licenses and permits, and maintaining demographic information at a job site such as addresses and contact numbers for key personnel and companies.
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.
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.