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MEDICAL MALPRACTICE-NEW TRIAL

August 17th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Medical Malpractice

Crespo v. Hughes, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 535 (July 18, 2017) Ransom, J. Appellants, William B. Hughes, M.D., Hughes & Hensell Associates, P.C., and Temple University Hospital, Inc., appeal from the judgment entered June 21, 2016, in favor of Appellees, Antonio Crespo in the amount of $4,679,676.00 and Edward Torralvo in the amount of $538,000, following a twelve-day jury trial finding Appellants liable for medical malpractice. We affirm in part but remand for a new trial limited to damages attributable to Appellee Crespo. 1. Wage Loss Claim. In their first issue, Appellants maintain that the court erred in denying their pre-trial motion in limine to preclude the wage loss claim. Appellants’ Br. at 18; 1925(b) statement, 7/29/2016, at 1. According to Appellants, Crespo had earned income as a construction worker from 2001 to 2008, until injuring his back in an unrelated incident. However, Appellants claim that there was no documentary evidence to support his contention that he worked as a musician in 2009, 2010, or 2011, prior to his injury in this matter. Appellants argue that Crespo never filed any tax returns reporting income he allegedly earned as a musician.…

Safety Tips for Going Back to School

August 11th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury

PA Bus Accident Lawyer
It is back-to-school season, a potentially dangerous time when children are on the road and motorists need to take extra safety precautions to avoid accidents. According to a study by SafeKids.org, 61 children are hit by cars every day in the United States. This occurs most often in the hours before and after school, and accidents peak in September. In addition, children are often injured riding on school buses, cars and bicycles; while walking back and forth to school; and even while playing sports or on playgrounds. If you or your child has been seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence or unsafe conditions, you deserve to be compensated for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered. The experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann have a long history of achieving results for our clients. We offer a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your situation and determine the best way to handle your individual case. Here are a few tips to increase safety during back-to-school time – and the rest of the year, as well. Bicycle Safety Pennsylvania has a bike…

EMPLOYMENT LAW-MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD-SERIOUS ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION

August 10th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Employment Rights

Perry v. Merit System Protection Board, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 4044 (June 23, 2017) Ginsburg, J.  This case concerns the proper forum for judicial review when a federal employee complains of a serious adverse employment action taken against him, one falling within the compass of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), 5 U. S. C. §1101 et seq., and attributes the action, in whole or in part, to bias based on race, gender, age, or disability, in violation of federal antidiscrimination laws. We refer to complaints of that order, descriptively, as “mixed cases.” In the CSRA, Congress created the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB or Board) to review certain serious personnel actions against federal employees. If an employee asserts rights under the CSRA only, MSPB decisions, all agree, are subject to judicial review exclusively in the Federal Circuit. §7703(b)(1). If the employee asserts no civil-service rights, invoking only federal antidiscrimination law, the proper forum for judicial review, again all agree, is a federal district court, see Kloeckner v. Solis, 568 U. S. 41, 46 (2012); the Federal Circuit, while empowered to review MSPB decisions on civil-service claims, §7703(b)(1)(A), lacks…

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-FIFTH AMENDMENT-TAKINGS CLAUSE-REGULATORY STRUCTURE

August 10th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Constitutional Law

Murr v. Wisconsin, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 4046 (June 23, 2017) Kennedy, J. The classic example of a property taking by the government is when the property has been occupied or otherwise seized. In the case now before the Court, petitioners contend that governmental entities took their real property—an undeveloped residential lot—not by some physical occupation but instead by enacting burdensome regulations that forbid its improvement or separate sale because it is classified as substandard in size. The relevant governmental entities are the respondents. Against the background justifications for the challenged restrictions, respondents contend there is no regulatory taking because petitioners own an adjacent lot. The regulations, in effecting a merger of the property, permit the continued residential use of the property including for a single improvement to extend over both lots. This retained right of the landowner, respondents urge, is of sufficient offsetting value that the regulation is not severe enough to be a regulatory taking. To resolve the issue whether the landowners can insist on confining the analysis just to the lot in question, without regard to their ownership of the adjacent lot, it is necessary to discuss the…

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-4TH AMENDMENT-SEARCH AND SEIZURE-DETAINEES

August 10th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Constitutional Law

Ziglar v. Abbasi, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3874, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017) Kennedy, J.  Respondents were among some 84 aliens who were subject to the hold-until-cleared policy and detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York. They were held in the Administrative Maximum Special Housing Unit (or Unit) of the MDC. The complaint includes these allegations: Conditions in the Unit were harsh. Pursuant to official Bureau of Prisons policy, detainees were held in “‘tiny cells for over 23 hours a day.’” 789 F. 3d, at 228. Lights in the cells were left on 24 hours. Detainees had little opportunity for exercise or recreation. They were forbidden to keep anything in their cells, even basic hygiene products such as soap or a toothbrush. When removed from the cells for any reason, they were shackled and escorted by four guards. They were denied access to most forms of communication with the outside world. And they were strip searched often—any time they were moved, as well as at random in their cells. Some of the harsh conditions in the Unit were not imposed pursuant to official policy. According to…

How to Make Arbitration Work in Disputes with Your Bank

August 8th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Miscellaneous

PA Bank Dispute Lawyer
If you are disputing unexpected fees and charges with your bank, credit card company, or other lender, you may be surprised to find you are forced to take your dispute to arbitration. Arbitration is an out-of-court procedure that most often favors big institutions and usually cannot be appealed. Consumers often have no idea that they must use arbitration, because the clause requiring them to do so is hidden in their original service contract that they probably never bothered to read. Such causes should be banned by the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, which grants the right to trial by jury. Also, the commerce clause of the United States Constitution, generally speaking, keeps the federal government out of disputes that are local in nature. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Federal Arbitration Act usurps the right to trial by jury. There are a few things you can do to help recover unfair charges. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made a ruling making it a little easier for consumers to join class-action lawsuits to fight alleged wrongdoing by financial institutions. However, this regulation…

EVIDENCE-PRIVILEGE-ATTORNEY-CLIENT-HEALTHCARE DISPUTE

August 7th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Evidence

Bousamra v. Excela Health, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 543 (July 19, 2017) Bowes, J.  Excela Health, a corporation (“Excela”), Westmoreland Regional Hospital, doing business as Excela Westmoreland Hospital, a corporation (“Westmoreland Hospital”), Robert Rogalski, Jerome E. Granato, M.D., and J-A20012-16 - 2 - Latrobe Cardiology Associates, Inc. (“Latrobe Cardiology”), filed this appeal from an October 6, 2015 discovery order. Appellants assert that the order in question required them to produce documents that are protected by the attorney-client and work-product privileges. We affirm. On April 26, 2009, Dr. Al-Bassam issued a report that contained a favorable evaluation of the WCC interventional cardiologists. He found that their work demonstrated outstanding skills and judgment, there was no misuse or abuse of the practice of interventional cardiology, and their performance of procedures involved no increased complications or mortality. Appellants filed the present appeal in Dr. BouSamra’s action from the October 6, 2015 order. They advance these issues for our review. 1. Does attorney-client privilege apply to a company's email with its media consultants, if the emails contain the advice of outside counsel and seek feedback so that in-house counsel may give legal advice to…

PROCEDURE-VENUE-MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

August 7th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Procedure

Wentzel v. Cammarano, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 540 (July 19, 2017) Stevens, P.J.E.  Maximor Wentzel (“Maximor”), a minor, by his parent and natural guardian, Charisma Wentzel, and Charisma Wentzel in her own right (“Appellants”), appeal from the order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County sustaining preliminary objections to venue and transferring the action to Berks County. We vacate the order and remand for proceedings consistent with this decision. This medical malpractice action arises from, inter alia, the allegedly negligent failure of Philadelphia’s St. Christopher’s Hospital (“SCHC”) and its resident cardiologist Dr. Lindsay Rogers to timely transmit her diagnosis and treatment plan for Maximor based on her reading of an emergency transthoracic echocardiogram performed on the premature newborn, who was receiving neonatal intensive care at Reading Hospital, Berks County. Dr. Rogers’ diagnosis was pulmonary hypertension requiring immediate treatment or intervention, which she recommended SCHC should provide.  We agree that Appellants’ complaint asserting both corporate and vicarious liability based on the omissions of Dr. Rogers and hospital staff puts forth a case of medical malpractice against Appellees. Indeed, in Rostock v. Anzalone, 904 A.2d 943 (Pa.Super. 2006), this…

INSURANCE-FIDUCIARY DUTY

August 3rd, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Insurance

Yenchi v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc., 2017 Pa. LEXIS 1405 (S. Ct. June 20, 2017) Donohue, J.  In this discretionary appeal, we must decide whether a fiduciary duty can arise in a consumer transaction for the purchase of a whole life insurance policy based upon the advice of a financial advisor where the consumer purchasing the policy does not cede decision -making control over the purchase to the financial advisor. We conclude that, consistent with our jurisprudence, no fiduciary duty arises in such a situation. Consequently, we reverse the Superior Court's decision to the contrary. In some types of relationships, a fiduciary duty exists as a matter of law. Principal and agent, trustee and cestui que trust, attorney and client, guardian and ward, and partners are recognized examples. See, e.g., McCown v. Fraser, 192 A. 674, 676-77 (Pa. 1937); Young, 279 A.2d at 763. The unique degree of trust and confidence involved in these relationships typically allows for one party to gain easy access to the property or other valuable resources of the other, thus necessitating appropriate legal protections. We conclude that the Yenchis' summary judgment evidentiary record falls far short…

SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY-POLITICAL SUBDIVISION TORT CLAIMS ACT-EXCEPTIONS-UTILITY EXCEPTION

August 3rd, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Sovereign Immunity

Metropolitan Edison Co. v. City of Reading, 2017 Pa. LEXIS 1387 (S. Ct. June 20, 2017) Donohue, J. In this appeal, we are required to construe the language of the utility service facilities exception (“Utility Exception”) to governmental immunity contained in the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act (“Tort Claims Act”), 42 Pa.C.S. § 8542(b)(5). The Commonwealth Court concluded that where a dangerous condition of the facilities of a utility system is created by the negligent action or inaction of a local agency or its employees, the Utility Exception does not apply. Because the Commonwealth Court misconstrued both the Utility Exception and the gravamen of the lawsuit in question, we reverse. Metropolitan Edison Company (“Met-Ed”) provides electricity service to residents of the City of Reading (“City”) and surrounding areas within Berks County. As part of Met-Ed's electric utility system, electrical wires are buried underground, along with other private and municipal utilities, within the City's right-of-way. The wires are encased in sections of terra cotta piping which are cemented together, or Schedule 40 PVC conduit, depending on the age of the installation. The City resumed its excavation work. On July 15, 2009,…