Can I Force my Insurance Company to Settle?

December 15th, 2021 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury


When you make a valid claim but your insurance company does not pay the benefits promised in your policy, there are ways to encourage the insurance company to settle. Insurance companies exist primarily to make a profit. They want to take in premiums, but generally pay out as little in claims as possible. Therefore, they will often use tactics to deny claims and pay less than the policy requires. This unreasonable denial or failure to meet obligations under an insurance policy may be considered “bad faith,” and a lawyer can file a lawsuit to force the insurer to settle and get you the benefits you deserve. In addition, in a successful bad faith insurance case, you can win compensation for damages that is over and above the amount of the denied claim. Pennsylvania laws are complicated, and insurance companies also have good lawyers on their payroll working on their behalf, so fighting them is not something you should attempt to do on your own. Your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. Pennsylvania has a specific statute permitting “bad…

Personal Injury

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury

ROUNDUP CASES-WARNING Hardeman v. Monsanto Co., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 14344; ___ F.3d ___; 2021 WL 1940550 (May 14, 2021) (R. Nelson, C.J.)  What happened here is that the jury returned a verdict for $5,267,634.10 in compensatory, and $75 million in punitive damages.  The district court reduced the jury’s punitive damage aware to only $20 million. Monsanto argued that the federal insecticide law preempted the failure to warn claims.  The court affirmed the failure to warn claims and said they were not preempted. The court also said that the correct Daubert standard was followed. This is an extremely important explanation, because the court goes through, in great detail, what the background is of this chemical and sets forth in wonderful detail the warnings claim. The court explains how Monsanto tries to knock out specific causation experts. The court said what was correct about Hardeman’s expert’s differential diagnosis testimony. This is also a great opinion on Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and the Daubert standard. Monsanto had argued that Hardeman failed to adequately rule out idiopathic cases.  They made the same argument they are making in all of their cases, that…

What Does Roundup Verdict Mean for Future Lawsuits?

October 22nd, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury, Products Liability

What Does Roundup Verdict Mean for Future Lawsuits?

Roundup Verdict in California and Future Lawsuits Roundup is a product commonly used by homeowners and commercial landscapers to kill weeds, but it has also been accused of killing people. Multiple lawsuits have been filed in recent years contending that Roundup (or glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup) is “dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce, and that it lacked proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use.” Now, a jury at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco has decided in favor of a plaintiff who alleged that Roundup caused his cancer. The jury awarded Dewayne Johnson $289 million in damages, $250 million of which is intended to punish Monsanto, the company that makes the herbicide. This verdict sets a precedent for thousands of other cases that similarly claim that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, an aggressive cancer that starts in the body’s immune system. After the trial, Monsanto issued a statement saying that it stands by the studies that suggest Roundup does not cause cancer. The company intends to appeal this decision and continue to defend the…

What Is the New Fireworks Law in Pennsylvania?

June 28th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury

What Is the New Fireworks Law in Pennsylvania?

Setting off fireworks can be fun and exciting, but it can also be dangerous, and a new Pennsylvania law that went into effect October 30, 2017, makes it even more so. The law broadened the legal use of fireworks and slapped a new 12 percent tax on those purchases. The tax will help plug the budget deficit and provide grants to emergency medical services and volunteer fire departments. However, expanding fireworks use also increases the chance of causing injuries and damage. Under the new law, Pennsylvania residents, previously restricted to using items like sparklers, now are allowed to purchase consumer-grade fireworks like Roman candles and bottle rockets that fly into the air. Previously, these items were available only to out-of-state shoppers. While residents can now enjoy the freedom to create beautiful fireworks displays, this comes at a price. Once lit, these items are difficult to control and can cause injuries and fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fireworks report, in 2013 alone U.S. emergency rooms treated 11,400 people for fireworks-related injuries. An estimated 55% involved injury to arms, hands and legs, while 38% were to the head.…

Why You Should Test Your Residence For Radon

February 16th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury

You may not know it, but your home could be dangerous to your health. Radon, a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas produced during the natural decay of uranium in rock and soil, may be present in your home in an amount that can potentially lead to lung cancer.

You may not know it, but your home could be dangerous to your health. Radon, a colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas produced during the natural decay of uranium in rock and soil, may be present in your home in an amount that can potentially lead to lung cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), approximately 21,000 deaths each year are attributable to radon-induced lung cancer. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Pennsylvania, second only to smoking. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), estimates that 40% of Pennsylvania homes contain unsafe levels of radon gas, which can move up into homes via cracks, drains, or any openings in the foundation. For this reason, it pays to test your residence for the presence of radon. If you or a loved one has suffered injury because you bought a home which was found to have high levels of radon and this was not disclosed to you by the seller or the seller’s realtor, you may be entitled to compensation. The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent…

Distracted Walking

October 26th, 2016 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury

PA Distracted Walking Accident Lawyer

Walking can be dangerous to your health -- especially when you or someone else is not paying attention. Walkers who are distracted, usually because they are making calls or texting on mobile phones, have suffered cuts and bruises, sustained serious head injuries or even been killed. They are particularly vulnerable when walking in urban areas, crossing busy streets and negotiating traffic.  They suffer injuries from walking into objects and people, and sometimes even from walking off a curb, bridge, train platform or cliff. And they may cause accidents for motorists when they unexpectedly dart out into traffic. On the other hand, pedestrians almost always have the right of way, unless they are not walking in a crosswalk. As Justice Musmanno famously said involving an intoxicated pedestrian: A drunk pedestrian is just as entitled to a safe place as anyone else, and more in need of it. While that is a paraphrase of the great Justice’s thinking, too many drivers are completely oblivious or even resentful of pedestrians, bikers, and other people who are not in a vehicle.  Sometimes this is even worse with SUV drivers, who feel that they are the king or queen of…

Octave ex rel. Octave v. Walker, 103 A.2d 1255 (Pa. 2014) Case Summary

February 23rd, 2015 by Rieders Travis in Personal Injury

An estate filed a negligence suit to recover for physical injuries sustained by James Octave upon being struck by a tractor-trailer driven by David Walker.  The state police concluded that Octave attempted to commit suicide by jumping under the truck's trailer.  The estate said that defendant Walker could not obtain information about Octave's prior psychiatric history because of the Mental Health Procedures Act.  The court distinguished this case from those where mental health records are sought but are not necessary to establish any claim or defense.  In fact, this is a very limited ruling.  The court said that in terms of obtaining mental health records in personal injury litigation, a patient waives his confidentiality protections under the MHPA where judged by an objective standard, he knew or reasonably should have known his mental health would be placed directly at issue by filing the lawsuit.  Disinterested eyewitnesses said that James Octave attempted to commit suicide by jumping under the truck's trailer.  This put the estate on notice that if they filed a civil action, a suicide defense would likely be advanced.  There was a history of suicidal ideations that might be…