Case Summaries

Case Notes from Richard E. Freeburn, Esquire, “The Lawyers Lawyer”.

The content on this web page is provided primarily for other lawyers. It is intended to assist other attorneys in keeping current with the latest developments in the law, in regards to personal injury, workers’ compensation and litigation issues. Every week, attorney Dick Freeburn reviews a case summary for his local Bar Association, that you can find here.

At Freeburn Law, we welcome referrals.

Evidence of an Insurer’s Motive of Self-Interest or Ill Will is Not Required in an Insurance Bad Faith Action

In Rancosky v. Washington National Insurance Company, No. 28 WAP 2016, (September 28, 2017), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered for the first time the elements of a bad faith insurance claim brought pursuant to the Pennsylvania bad faith statute, 42 Pa.C.S. Section 8371. 

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The Pennsylvania Superior Court Revisits The Standards For Nursing Home Negligence, Vicarious Liability, And Punitive Damage Claims

In Breslin v. Mountain View Nursing Home, Inc., 2017 WL 4296241, (September 28, 2017), the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the trial court’s order dismissing the Plaintiff’s amended complaint seeking negligence and punitive damages. 

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Refuses to Accept Appeal from Superior Court’s Reversal of Trial Court’s Grant of Summary Judgement for Defendant Under Tincher Standard in Products Liability Case

On September 25, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme court denied an application for allowance of appeal from the decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court in High v. Pennsy Supply, Inc.,154 A.3d 341 (1/13/17), which reversed the decision of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, which granted summary judgement for Defendant in this products liability case. 

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Third Circuit Affirms Summary Judgement in Favor of Football Coach and School District for Traumatic Brain Injury Based on The State of the Law at the Time of the Injury

In Mann v. Palmerton Area School District, 2017 WL 4172055, (9/21/17), the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a high school football coach and school district.

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The case is Safe Auto Insurance Company v. Oriental-Guillermo, 2017 W.L. 4124219, Opinion by Dubow, J., joined by Solano, J.  Dissenting opinion by Ford Elliott, P.J.E. On September 18, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that an insurance carrier can exclude “Permissive Driver Coverage” if the permitted driver is not related to the policy holder, is living with the policy holder, and is not specifically listed on the policy.

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No Case Where Generally Slippery Conditions Prevail Without Hills and Ridges.

In Neifert v. Speedway, LLC, 2017 WL 4052264, (Pa. Super. 9/14/17), the Superior Court affirmed the grant of summary judgment by the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.  (Berks CCP, 15-3929).  In this case, Plaintiff slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of the Speedway gas station on December 7, 2012.  Small patches of black ice were found near where Plaintiff fell from a light misty precipitation.

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The Language in a Workers’ Comp C&R Agreement Determines the Scope of Release.

In Zuber v. Boscov’s, 2017 WL 3974513 (3rd Cir. 9/11/17), the Third Circuit held that the language of the release contained in a workers’ compensation Compromise and Release (C&R) agreement, did not bar the employee from suing his employer under FMLA and Pennsylvania common law employee rights theories.

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Employer is responsible for all medical expenses related to the acknowledged injury in a C&R agreement.

In Haslam v. WCAB, 2017 WL 3798517, (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct., 9/1/17), the Commonwealth Court reversed the WCAB which had concluded that Employer was NOT required to pay for treatment of claimant’s RRS/CRPS condition after claimant entered into a Compromise and Release (“C&R”) Agreement which described Claimant’s injury on a standardized Labor & Industry form as “[v]arious injuries and bodily parts including but not necessarily limited to fractured

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