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  • EEOC Targets Systemic Discrimination
    October 24, 2014
    By: Carla P. Maresca, Esquire and May Mon Post, Esquire
    Employers may be more familiar with the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC”) in investigating Charges of Discrimination filed by individual employees, where the EEOC, alone or in conjunction with the applicable state agency, investigates the allegation and reaches a conclusion as to whether the investigation indicates that unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation has occurred.

  • Third Circuit Scrutinizes Mailbox Rule
    October 24, 2014
    By: Carla P. Maresca, Esquire and May Mon Post, Esquire
    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that an employer may not rely on "the Mailbox Rule" to prove that the employer provided an employee with notice of his or her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The ruling could now require employers to prove that they provided the required FMLA notice of rights to every employee by a traceable means rather than first-class mail.

  • Under The New EEOC Guidance, Pregnant Employees Are Now Entitled To ADA-Type Accommodations
    By Carla P. Maresca and May Mon Post
    On July 14, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued its long-anticipated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (the “Guidance”), which clarifies how Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) interact to protect pregnant employees and attempts to expand the law to provide greatly enhanced protections to pregnant employees.

  • PA SUPREME COURT REACHES FAVORABLE STATUTORY EMPLOYER DECISION FOR CONTRACTORS
    By: Matthew Junk
    On March 26, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an important decision in Patton v. Worthington Associates (32 MAP 2013) upholding the “statutory employer” doctrine in Pennsylvania. Justice Saylor wrote the opinion, in which Chief Justice Castille joined, along with Justices Eakin, Baer, Todd, McCaffery and Stevens. Justice Baer also filed a concurring opinion.

  • Employers' Ever Increasing Obligation to Engage in the Interactive Process Under the ADA
    By: Carla Maresca and Rufus Jennings
    Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rendered a decision that serves as a reminder to employers of their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to engage in an interactive process with employees who claim to have disabilities. 

  • Newly Introduced Bill in New Jersey Will Establish A Statutory Private Cause of Action for Bad Faith and Allow Recovery of Punitive Damages for Insurer's Bad Faith Conduct
    By: Christine Celia
    In response to the recent case of Wood v. New Jersey Manufacturers Ins. Co., 206 N.J. 562, 21 A.3d 1131 (June 14, 2011), New Jersey Senate Bill 3036, was introduced to the New Jersey legislature on August 25, 2011 and to the Senate on September 19, 2011.

  • GOVERNOR CORBETT SIGNS LAW ABROGATING JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY IN PENNSYLVANIA
    By: Gerald J. Valentini and Christopher Negrete
    As we have previously reported, on June 27, 2011, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted SB-1131 (commonly known as the “Fair Share Act”) which ultimately will eliminate joint and several liability in most tort actions governed by Pennsylvania law. As we anticipated, Governor Tom Corbett promptly signed SB-1131 on June 28, 2011, and it became effective immediately.

  • Schmidt v. Creedon: Third Circuit Re-Affirms the Need for Pre-Suspension Hearings for Borough Police Officers
    By: Carla P. Maresca and Sheryl L. Brown
    On March 29, 2011, the Third Circuit re-affirmed the prior holdings of Dee v. Borough of Dunmore, 549 F.3d 225 (3rd Cir. 2008), that absent extraordinary circumstances, a borough police office can not be suspended without pay unless a pre-suspension hearing has taken place. Schmidt v. Creedon, Nos. 09-2051 and 10-1633 (3rd Cir. March 29, 2011).

  • Supreme Court Announces Employers are Liable to Third-Parties under Title VII
    By: John Morgenstern and Rufus A. Jennings
    On January 24, 2011, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 913 (January 24, 2011). In that decision, Justice Scalia held, for the first time, that an individual who has not engaged in any activity that would ordinarily be considered “protected” under Title VII still may maintain a claim under Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision as an “aggrieved person.”

  • New Bill Inroduced in Pennsylvania Legislature For Tort Reform
    BY: Gerald J. Valentini and Christopher C. Negrete
    On Wednesday, January 18, 2011, the first tort reform bill of the 2011 Pennsylvania legislative session was introduced by Senator, Jake Corman. Senate Bill No. 2 (“SB-2”) seeks to amend Section 7102 of Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by adding new provisions which would effectively eliminate joint and several liability in most tort actions in Pennsylvania. 

  • MEDICARE SECONDARY PAYER ACT UPDATE: Tackling the Most Common Obstacles to Settlements
    By:  John P. Morgenstern, Esq.
    Since amendments to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (“MSP Act”) went into effect earlier this year, defense counsel, insurance adjusters, and Responsible Reporting Entities (“RREs”) have faced many challenges and obstacles to resolving claims and lawsuits amidst the sometimes overwhelming confusion as to certain requirements imposed by the Act.  This article will address the five most common points of contention and confusion with solutions for each. 

  • Legislative Updates Affecting Products Liability November 24, 2009

  • Settler Beware: Navigating the Amendments to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act
    By John P. Morgenstern, Esq.
    For those of us representing governmental entities in personal injury actions, the landscape of case resolutions has changed.  On July 1, 2009, amendments to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (“MSP Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 1395y and 42 C.F.R. § 411, took effect, adding another level of red tape and potential exposure to attorneys and insurance carriers.  

  • The Tenuous Enforceability of Release-Dismissal Agreements
    By Andrew B. Adair, Esq.
    To prevent or reduce exposure to civil lawsuits, police officers, prosecutors and code enforcement officials sometimes negotiate agreements to dismiss charges in exchange for the release of potential rights to bring a civil rights lawsuit.  While such a release sounds appealing, it is important for attorneys and claims professionals defending civil rights claims to understand that these “release-dismissal agreements” are not always enforceable.  This article will explore the art of crafting a successful and binding release-dismissal agreement.

  • Legislative Updates Affecting Governmental Liability
    July 21, 2009
    This is a synopsis of recent Federal and State legislation and pending bills relating to municipal and government liability.

  • New Jersey and Pennsylvania Insurance in Brief
    July 21, 2009
    Here are seven recent case law updates of interest to our industry.

  • PA Supreme Court Enforces “Household Exclusion” to Preclude Recovery of UIM Benefits Following Motorcycle Accident
    June 22, 2009
    On June 22, 2009, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the “household exclusion” clause as it operates to preclude recovery for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.  Specifically, the Court found that the policy provision did not violate the intent behind Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (“MVFRL”) and enforced the right of insurers to determine what risks to underwrite.

  • Lozano v. City of Hazleton: A Review of Recent U.S. Court Decisions on Express and Implied Preemption
    By Carla P. Maresca and Christopher C. Negrete
    Unauthorized immigration has become one of the most divisive political issues of our time.  It has had wide-ranging economic and social effects the United States at all levels:  federal, state and local.  While the federal government has largely failed to address the impact of the arrival of unauthorized aliens in local communities, some states and municipalities have enacted innovative state laws and local ordinances that sought to address the impact of unauthorized aliens, on a community infrastructure, sometimes through measures that may also discourage unauthorized aliens from settling or remaining in a particular community.

  • Pa. Supreme Court Issues Important Coverage Decision in Construction Defect Case
    November 14, 2006
    On October 25, 2006, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an important opinion in Kvaerner Metals Division of Kvaerner U.S., Inc. v. Commercial Union Insurance Company, a construction defect case, holding that there is no coverage under a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy for a claim based upon faulty workmanship.

  • Pennsylvania Arbitration Rules Changes
    June 1, 2006
    House Bill 750 was signed by Governor Rendell as Act 41 on May 11, 2006 and is effective in 60 days. It amends Section 7361 of Title 42 to provide that civil actions filed in the Courts of Common Pleas must be submitted to compulsory arbitration unless the amount in controversy exceeds $50,000 in first, second or third class counties or $35,000 in all other counties.

  • Team Effort Compels Dismissal of Environmental Lawsuit
    April 9, 2005
    Deasey, Mahoney & Valentini, Ltd. recently contributed to a major victory on behalf of one of its petrochemical clients. Plaintiff was the owner of a drinking water well in southeastern Pennsylvania.

  • "Pass-Through" Indemnification Clauses Not Always Enforceable
    January 17, 2005
    Pennsylvania law has long held that indemnification contracts which purportedly require one party to indemnify for another's negligence are to be narrowly construed and require a "clear and unequivocal" written expression of intent before a party may transfer its liability to another party. In December 2004, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a case of first impression, ruled on whether a contractor's "pass-through" indemnification provision could make its subcontractor liable to all parties in the contractual chain above the subcontractor.

  • Superior Court: Bad Faith Claims are Subject to a 2-Year Statute of Limitations
    November 5, 2004
    On November 3, 2004, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in the case of Ash v. Continental Insurance Company, that any suit alleging bad faith against an insurance company must be filed within two years. This ruling follows a number of conflicting decisions handed down by Pennsylvania State and Federal Courts over the years. Some of those rulings held that the correct limitations period was 6 years, while others found that 2 years was the proper yardstick.

  • Legal Experts Must Now Disclose Their 1099 Income
    November 1, 2004
    In Pennsylvania, expert witnesses may now be required to divulge the sources and amounts of income that they receive from the attorneys, parties and/or insurance companies who retain them. In an October 20, 2004 decision with potentially sweeping consequences, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in J.S. and C.S., et. al. v. Whetzel (No. 1649 MDA 2003) that a party may impeach an expert witness by examining his relationship with the counsel calling him and any previous participation the expert has had in certain types of litigation, as long as this inquiry is "relevant to the main issue before a court."

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