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A Summary Of Recent Appellate Decisions & Rules Changes - Articles Surfing
1.2Causes of Action ' Asbestos-Related Diseases
1.3Causes of Action ' Claims Against Municipalities
*Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
1.4Causes of Action ' Slip & Fall Claims/Hills & Ridges
Holding:Pa.R.Civ.P. 238 does not authorize an award of delay damages in breach of contract actions involving damage to property.
1.6Disqualification of Counsel/Appealability of Orders
(2) Pursuant to the MCARE Act, 40 P.S. ' 1303.515, and Pa.R.Civ.P. 1042.72, a trial court may grant remittitur when the damage award is excessive because it deviates substantially from what could be reasonable compensation. The standard for remittitur in medical malpractice actions differs, however, from the traditional remittitur standard, which requires a verdict to be so excessive as to offend the conscience and judgment of the Court before a Court may grant remittitur.
♦Forrester v. Hanson
1.8Motor Vehicle Claims
1.10Spoliation of Evidence
2.1Course of Employment/Home Office
2.2Limitations on Claims
Holding:When calculating the three (3) year statute of limitations under 413(a) of the Act, 77 P.S. '' 771-772, which applies to reinstatement and other petitions (See, e.g., Penn Beverage, below), the only date of import is the date on which the last payment check is received. That date constitutes the last payment of compensation ' provided the check is honored and payment relates back to the date of its receipt.
*Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Holding:The three (3) year statute of limitations under 413(a) of the Act, 77 P.S. '' 771-772, applies to claims seeking to add a permanent scar to a Notice of Compensation Payment or an otherwise previously accepted work injury. Consequently, a claim petition seeking disfigurement benefits must be filed with three years after the date of the most recent payment of compensation. This decision also applies to petitions seeking to add a new injury arising as a direct result of an injury for which an employer has assumed liability.
2.3Mental/Mental Injury Claims
Holding:A claimant who suffers psychological injuries as the result of being robbed at gunpoint on multiple occasions while in the course of delivering food and collecting payments from customers is entitled to compensation for those injuries, which constitute 'legally sufficient abnormal working conditions.' In the Opinion, President Judge Colins states that 'this Court is unprepared to accept that our society has deteriorated to the point where a holdup at gunpoint does not constitute an 'abnormal working condition' for a food delivery person.'
Effective July 1, 2006, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has increased to $25,000.00 (from $15,000.00) the maximum amount of damages recoverable in the trial of an appeal from the Award of Arbitrators ' in the event the plaintiff files the requisite Stipulation to Limitation of Monetary Recovery at least thirty (30) days from the date the appeal is first listed for trial.
An Interesting Ethics Opinion
In Formal Opinion 06-439, 'Lawyer's Obligation of Truthfulness When Representing a Client in Negotiation: Application to Caucused Mediation,' the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility has concluded that, under Model Rule 4.1, 'in the context of a negotiation, including a caucused mediation, a lawyer representing a party may not make a false statement of material fact to a third person. However, statements regarding a party's negotiating goals or its willingness to compromise, as well as statements that can fairly be characterized as negotiation 'puffing,' are ordinarily not considered 'false statements of material fact' within the meaning of the Model Rules.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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