July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Damages

DAMAGES-PIERCIING THE CORPORATE VEIL Kelly Smith v. A.O. Smith Corp., 2022 Pa. Super. LEXIS 37(January 26, 2022) (Colins, J.).  Kelly Smith ("Plaintiff"), the executrix of the estate of Daniel R. Harrity ("Decedent"), appeals from the December 1, 2020 order dismissing all claims and parties in this action in which Plaintiff seeks damages related to Decedent's alleged exposure to asbestos. In this appeal, Plaintiff challenges the August 11, 2020 order of the trial court granting the summary judgment motion of Appellee Vanadium Enterprises Corporation ("Vanadium"); the trial court concluded that the record lacked sufficient evidence to support a finding that Vanadium was liable as a successor to Decedent's former employers, Schneider, Inc. and one of its subsidiaries, Pittsburgh Mechanical Systems, Inc. ("Pittsburgh Mechanical"). In Pennsylvania, it is a "general principle of corporation law that a purchaser of a corporation's assets does not, for such reason alone, assume the debts of the selling corporation, unlike a purchaser of the corporation's stock." Fizzano Brothers, 42 A.3d at 954. However, exceptions to this general rule against successor liability have been recognized where: (1) the purchaser expressly or implicitly agreed to assume liability, (2) the…


March 20th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Damages

Damages in a Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim Murga v. Lehigh Valley Physicians Grp. 2018 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 3053 (November 26, 2018) Johnson, J.-Court would not grant partial summary judgment on negligent affliction of emotional distress claim. Plaintiff argued that NIED claims have evolved and broadened in Pennsylvania and that her NIED claims were appropriate under multiple theories of recovery including the duty of care arising from a special relationship, a physical impact theory and a bystander theory. The court distinguished between transitory, nonrecurring physical phenomena like fright as opposed to depression, nightmares, stress and anxiety. Plaintiff’s severe emotional and psychological injuries which were accompanied by physical injuries, pain and suffering are sufficient to satisfy the physical harm requirement.