- Maritime Action: Failure to State a Claim
In a maritime action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Court granted the charterer's Motion for Summary Judgment, holding that the Plaintiffs/Shippers' failure to identify the Bills of Lading in the Complaint constituted a failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and denied Plaintiffs' attempt to amend the Complaint after the expiration of the one year period set forth in The Carriage of Goods By Sea Act of 1936, 46 U.S.C. 1300, et. seq., (COGSA). Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Motion for Summary Judgment Granted on Sexual Harassment Claim
In this personal injury action involving claims of sexual harassment and assault, the New Jersey Superior Court partially granted a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Wright & O'Donnell on behalf of a Defendant, who was an alleged co-owner of a tattoo studio where Plaintiff alleged she was sexually harassed and assaulted during a tattoo procedure. The Court held that a plaintiff must produce evidence of a demonstrable psychiatric injury in order to sustain a cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Court Agrees that Policy Requires Damage to Commence During Policy Period
In this breach of contract, bad faith and declaratory judgment action, involving claims of insurance coverage under an "all risk" Policy, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, the Hon. Mark I. Bernstein, agreed with Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, that the Plaintiff could not proceed with its claims, given its inability to prove when the damage occurred. Plaintiff countered with an argument that it should be able to proceed, because it discovered the damage during Certain Underwriters' Policy period. The Court, however, correctly applied a Policy condition requiring damage to "commence" during the Policy period, and granted Certain Underwriters' request for declaratory relief. The Hon. Sandra M. Moss issued a concurring opinion, and the Superior Court of PA affirmed on appeal. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Court Holds Contractor is not Entitled to Coverage Under Additional Endorsement Where Requisite Connection to Primary Insured's Operations was Lacking
In this coverage action, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Summary Judgment for an insurer, and held that a contractor was not entitled to coverage under an Additional Insured Endorsement where there was not the requisite connection between the contractor's liability and the operations of the primary insured. The Court also dismissed the contractor's bad faith claim against the insurer, holding that the contractor's failure to establish that it was entitled to coverage under the additional insured provision precluded its ability to establish a bad faith claim. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- District Court Holds That "Business Use Exclusion" in Policy Precluded Coverage for Accident
In this coverage action, on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that a "Business Use Exclusion" in a Non-Trucking Liability Insurance Policy precluded coverage for an accident that occurred while a tractor (truck) was enroute to a dealership for the purpose of being sold or traded for a new tractor. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Assault & Battery Exclusion Upheld: Court Agrees Alea Has No Duty to Defend or Indemnify Insureds in Underlying Action
In this Declaratory Judgment action filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Honorable Anita Brody granted Alea London Limited's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings finding that Alea has no duty to defend or indemnify the insureds in the underlying action. The underlying action arose from a shooting on the insureds' property. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that he was shot numerous times by an unknown assailant as a result of the insureds' alleged negligent maintenance of a security lock and/or security device. Judge Brody held that "the plain, unambiguous language of the assault and battery exclusion excludes coverage for [the allegations in the underlying action]." Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Court Agrees Insurer Did Not Have Duty to Defend Insureds in Parking Lot Assault
In this Declaratory Judgment Action, the Honorable Joy Flowers Conti, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, was not convinced by either jurisdictional arguments or arguments with respect to the inapplicability of certain exclusions in the Policy, when she granted Essex Insurance Company's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. In doing so, the Court agreed that Essex Insurance Company did not have a duty to defend and/or indemnify its insureds in connection with underlying state court actions wherein it was alleged that the Plaintiff was injured by an assault and/or battery, which occurred in the parking lot of a strip club. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Court Dismisses Plaintiff's Cloaked Actions as Actually an Untimely Land Use Appeal
In this zoning case, Plaintiff asserted claims of negligence and fraud against a township in Pennsylvania. Plaintiff's claims arose from the township's issuance of a building permit for the construction of a neighboring property owner's garage, as well as the issuance of a Certificate of Nonconformance relative to the neighbor's storage of commercial equipment on their property. The Honorable Harold Thomson granted the Motion for Summary Judgment that Wright & O'Donnell, P.C., filed on behalf of the township. Quoting the township's Brief, the Court found that although Plaintiff cloaked this action as one of negligence and fraud, it was actually an untimely land use appeal. The Court held that the township was immune from Plaintiff's claims as there were no applicable exceptions to the Tort Claims Act. Finally, the Court found that the use of the property in question was a permitted, nonconforming use. Plaintiff has appealed this decision to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
- Jury Rules Indemnity Provisions Do Not Indemnify Landowner's Employee
Following trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, a jury returned a verdict of $5,000,000.00 in favor of Plaintiff, an employee of Landowner, and against the Parking Contractor, and found no liability on the Landowner. Following the verdict, Judge Gary DiVito ruled that the indemnity provisions in the contract between Landowner and Parking Contractor did not provide sufficient waiver language to permit the Contractor to obtain indemnity for injury to the Landowner's employee, consistent with the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act and the holding in Bester v. Essex Crane Rental Corp., 619 A.2d 304 (Pa. Super. 1993) (en banc). After the denial of Post Trial Motions, and Contractor's appeal, the Superior Court (Judges Bender, Donahue and Freedberg) affirmed Judge DeVito's rulings on the indemnity issues on the merits and, for procedural reasons, denied Contractor's other appeal arguments. Click here for a more detailed analysis.
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