ATTORNEY’S FEES-UTPCPL

November 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

Krishnan v. Cutler Group, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 766 (October 2, 2017) Bender, P.J.E.  This case involves a building contract and award of attorney’s fees under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.  The trial court found in favor of the homeowners on their Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law claim.  It granted request for prejudgment interest, denied the request for all their attorney’s fees, granted a request for attorney’s fees and costs in part, and otherwise sustained the verdict.  The judgment was affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded for consideration of attorney’s fees award, consistent with the opinion. The court has discretion to award attorney’s fees under the UTPCPL.  This also applies to award of costs, including expert fees.  The trial court appropriately awarded expert fees.  Also was proper to award prejudgment interest.  The court has discretion to award prejudgment interest on some claims and not on others.  The homeowner spent a half million dollars to have this home built, and there were many problems.  They had to pay almost $86,000 out of pocket to bring the home in compliance.  Awarding additional fees and costs…

ATTORNEY’S FEES-CIVIL RIGHTS-PENNSYLVANIA-PREVAILING PARTY

April 26th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

Huyett v. Doug’s Family Pharm., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 272 (April 20, 2017) Bowes, J.  Upon remand for the determination of attorney fees, the trial court followed this Court’s directive.  It presided over the trial and had the opportunity to observe the witnesses.  Additionally, it reviewed the trial transcript, weighed the evidence, and reached the conclusion that the evidence of a violation of the PHRA was weak.  In arriving at that finding, the court stated that it did not reject the jury’s credibility determination, but rather independently reweighed the evidence. Absent herein is any showing that the trial court’s decision was manifestly unreasonable or biased or so lacking in support as to be clearly erroneous, and we may not reverse simply because we may have reached a different result.

Pennsylvania Rules Of Civil Procedure

April 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

Grimm v. Universal Medical Services, Inc., et al., No. 591 WDA 2016, 2017 PA Super 53 (March 1, 2017) Bender, P.J.E.  Appellants, Universal Medical Services, Inc. and Roderick K. Reeder, CFO, appeal from the trial court’s March 24, 2016 order granting Appellee’s Jeffrey P. Grimm, request for attorney’s fees.  In this appeal raising an issue of first impression, we must consider the interplay between the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (referred to herein as “WPCL”) and Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1311.1, which allows a plaintiff to limit the maximum amount of damages recoverable to $25,000.00 in exchange for relaxed requirements in admitting certain documentary evidence at a de novo trial following compulsory arbitration.  After close review, we affirm. Given the arguments advanced by counsel here and the facts of this specific case, we hold that attorneys’ fees under the WPCL were properly awarded, even though they caused the total amount recovered by Appellee to exceed the limit set forth in Rule 1311.1. Order affirmed.

ATTORNEY’S FEES-PROCUREMENT CODE-PROMPT PAYMENT PROVISIONS

October 19th, 2016 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

Scott Enterprises v. City of Allentown, 142 A.3d 779 (Pa. 2016).  Opinion by Justice Dougherty.  “In this discretionary appeal, we consider whether an award of a statutory penalty and attorney fees under the prompt payment provisions of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, see 62 Pa.C.S. §3935, is mandatory upon a finding of bad faith, irrespective of the statute’s permissive phrasing.  We hold such an award is not mandatory, and therefore reverse the order of the Commonwealth Court and remand the case to the trial court for proceedings consistent with this Opinion.”

Tioga County Crash Claims Life

April 5th, 2016 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

WELLSBORO - A man was killed in a one-vehicle crash Saturday night in Delmar Township in Tioga County. State police said Paul L. Wilcox Sr., 56, of Wellsboro, at about 8:17 p.m. lost control of his vehicle on Airport Road after he failed to negotiate a left turn, ultimately causing the car to overturn and slide down the road. Wilcox was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, police said. The Wellsboro Fire Department, the county coroner and Cooper's Garage all assisted at the scene.

Peer Review and Attorney’s Fees

March 29th, 2016 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

Doctor's Choice v. Travelers Personal Insurance, 128 A.3d 1183 (Pa. 2015).  The order of the Superior Court was reversed and the matter remanded for reinstatement of the modified verdict.  The trial court had determined that all treatments rendered by the patient's doctor were reasonable and necessary in providing essential management for the pain deriving from injuries incurred in an automobile accident.  The trial court, however, vacated an award of attorney's fees.  The Superior Court, on appeal, reversed the decision to strike the fee award.  The Superior Court focused on the Common Pleas Court's determination that no valid peer review determination had been realized, given the doctor's failure to ground his analysis in national norms, regional norms, or pre-established written standards as required by § 69.53(e) of the Pennsylvania Code.  In such circumstances, the court reasoned, fee-shifting was required by § 1797(b)(6) of the Financial Responsibility Law, notwithstanding the decision in Herd Chiropractic Clinic v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 619 Pa. 438, 64 A.3d 1058 (2013).  The Supreme Court permitted appeal to evaluate the correctness of the Superior Court's construction that Insured "has not challenged" the reasonableness and necessity…

ERISA – STANDING – MONETARY EQUITABLE RELIEF – ATTORNEYS FEES

September 24th, 2015 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

The court concluded that plaintiff lacked standing to sue under 502(a)(3) even in a purely representative capacity insofar as he seeks monetary equitable relief.  The district court was affirmed in dismissing the complaint insofar as it seeks that kind of relief.  Disgorgement of profits is not permitted.  He seeks monetary equitable remedies in a "derivative" or "representative" capacity on behalf of the plan.  There is no support for that theory.  Perelman v. Perelman, 793 F.3d 368 (3d Cir. 2015).

Attorney’s Fees-ERISA-Catalyst Theory

July 21st, 2015 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

A party seeking attorney's fees under ERISA must show "some success" on the merits.  The lower court incorrectly defined "some success" by requiring evidence that a judicial action was not necessary.  Therefore the case was reversed and sent back to the trial court for consideration of the standard set by the court of appeals.  We have no trouble concluding that the catalyst theory of recovery of attorney's fees is available under the ERISA statute.  The court will analyze a number of factors in order to determine whether the action of the plaintiff was a catalyst in bringing the desired result.  The court applied the Ursic standard.  Templin v. Independence Blue Cross, 785 F.3d 861 (3d Cir. 2015).

CONTRACTOR AND SUBCONTRACTOR PAYMENT ACT-ATTORNEY’S FEES AND INTEREST-PUBLIC SCHOOL CONTRACTS

May 15th, 2015 by Rieders Travis in Attorney's Fees

East Coast Paving v. North Allegheny School, 111 A.3d 220 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2015).  Nothing in the school code or the contract relieves the school district of its obligation to pay for work and materials demanded of a private contractor.  East Coast Paving was entitled to recover for breach of contract.  The school board approved the paving project completed by East Coast.  The lower court held the school district liable for penalties and attorney's fees under CASPA.  The question of first impression is whether a school district can be held accountable to its contractor under either CASPA or the Prompt Pay Act, or both.  The Prompt Pay Act, not CASPA, governs construction contracts between a government agency such as school district in a contract.  Accordingly, the trial court erred in applying the remedies set forth in CASPA to this case.  East Coast's claim for interest and attorney's fees under the Prompt Pay Act was not untimely.  Only if the trial court finds that the school district withheld payment in bad faith must it award a penalty in attorney's fees at the rate established by the Prompt Pay Act.  Interest may be…