October 17, 2017

Sovereign Immunity – Real Estate Exception – Negligent Installation of Guardrails

Cagey v. PennDOT, 2016 WL 4068321 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2016) (unreported),  allocatur granted, 36 WAP 2016

In Cagey, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether Commonwealth Court improperly expanded the Court’s holding in Dean v. Department of Transportation, 751 A.2d 1130 (Pa. 2000), that the Department has no duty to erect guardrails on Commonwealth real property along Commonwealth agency roadways, where Commonwealth Court repeatedly held that when the Department does erect guardrails, it cannot be liable for injuries caused by negligently dangerously designed guardrails.

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Law firm fee dispute; Whether Quantum Meruit Theory May be Asserted Against Successor Law Firm or Only Against Client

Meyer Darragh. v. Law Firm of Middleman, 95 A.3d 893 (Pa. Super. 2014), allocatur granted, 6 and 7 WAP 2017

This case addresses whether, in a law firm fee dispute, the predecessor law firm may recover against the successor law firm under a theory of quantum meruit, or whether quantum meruit is available only against the client.

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Waiver of Challenge to Jury Instructions; Pa. R.C.P. 227.1(b)

Jones v Ott, 2016 WL 5418827 (Pa. Super. 2016) (unpublished), allocatur granted,12 WAP 2017

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether, absent an express request by the trial court to place any objections on the record, a challenge to a trial court’s jury instructions is preserved pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 227.1, if a party submits specific proposed points for charge to the trial court at the time of charging conference, and challenges the trial court’s failure to include the specific points in a post-trial motion.

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Workers’ Compensation, Unreasonable Contest Attorney Fees, Statutory Authority to Order Claimant’s Counsel to Disgorge Award of Fees Where Employer Ultimately Prevails

County of Allegheny v. WCAB (Parker), 151 A. 3d 1210 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2016), allocatur granted, 12 WAP 2017

The Supreme Court will consider (1) whether the Commonwealth Court erred when it held, without legal precedent, that a workers’ compensation claimant’s attorney must disgorge and return unreasonable contest attorney’s fees if the employer ultimately prevails and (2) whether the disgorgement and return of unreasonable contest attorney’s fees when the employer ultimately prevails is better left to the legislature rather than the courts?

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Mootness Doctrine; Is TV Station’s Appeal of Grand Jury Judge’s Denial of Access to Warrant and Affidavit of Probable Cause Moot Because Documents Became Available on the Internet Through a Non-Official Source?

In Re: 2014 Allegheny County, Appeal of: WPXI, 147 A.3d 922(Pa. Super. 2017), allocatur granted, 26 WAP 2017

The Supreme Court granted allocatur to determine whether WPXI’S appeal of the decision by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to deny access to official copies of asserted public judicial documents was moot, because unofficial copies of the documents sought purportedly were available on the internet through a non-official source?

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October 18, 2017

Section 319 of the Workers’ Compensation Act; Entitlement to Subrogation Where Self-Insured Police Employer Has Concurrent Obligations Under Workers’ Compensation Act and Heart and Lung Act

Pa. State Police v. WCAB (Bushta),149 A.3d 118 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2017), allocatur granted, 14 WAP 2017

The Supreme Court will hear argument on issues of compensation payable pursuant to Article III of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and the Heart and Lung Act, and subrogation of a self-insured municipality.

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Section 707 of the Public School Code Authorizing Sale of School Property; Power of Court to Reverse Approval of Private Sale and Direct Public Sale

In Re: Private Sale of Prop. by Millcreek Twp. School Dist., 143 A.3d 1037 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2016), allocatur granted, 8 WAP 2017

Whether the Commonwealth Court had the authority under the Public School Code to order the public sale of Millcreek Township School District property pursuant to 24 P.S. § 7-707?Whether the Commonwealth Court erred in reversing the decision of the Court of Common Pleas approving the private sale of Millcreek Township School District property under 24 P.S. § 7-707?

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Pre-enforcement Review; Injunctive Relief; Did Commonwealth Court correctly enjoin enforcement of certain oil and gas regulations?

Marcellus Shale Coalition v. Dep’t of Environmental Protection, 573 MD 2016 (unreported) (Cmwlth Ct. 2016), allocatur granted, 115 MAP 2016

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear argument on multiple issues related to the Commonwealth Court’s preliminary grant of injunction to enjoin enforcement of certain oil and gas regulations.

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Negligence, Negligence Per Se, Duty of Care to Remote Plaintiff

Walters v. UPMC, 144 A.3d 104 (Pa. Super. 2016), allocatur granted, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 WAP 2017

The Supreme Court will decide multiple issues related to negligence and duty of care in this case stemming from failure to report a hospital employee’s illicit conduct.

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For more information, contact Kevin McKeon or Dennis Whitaker