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C&W Journal

October 21, 2008

Putative Ownership In Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage

The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) defines the rights and responsibilities of motor vehicle owners with respect to the purchase and maintenance of motor vehicle insurance. A motor vehicle owner who fails to maintain insurance on his vehicle will statutorily be deemed a Limited Tort elector and will not be able to...

October 21, 2008

No Duty Rule In Negligence Actions

In the case of Craig v. Amateur Softball Association of America, 951 A.2d 372 (Pa. Super. 2008), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed and refined the common-law “no duty rule.” The “no duty...

October 21, 2008

Improper Venue Vs. Forum Non Conveniens

Venue considerations present thorny legal questions at the beginning of a case. Whether removing a case to federal court or to another county, a change in venue can have a significant impact on...

July 27, 2008

Major Changes Expected For New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act

Recent public scrutiny over the present workers' compensation system has spurred the New Jersey State Senate to pass a bill amending key provisions in the Garden State’s Workers’ Compensation Act ...

July 27, 2008

A Better Diehl: Controversial Diehl Decision Vacated

On the 12th birthday of Act 57, the Commonwealth Court breathed life back into the Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) process that the Act established. The Court vacated its April 28, 2008 Opinion...

July 27, 2008

Self Help: Legal Unilateral Benefit Modification

On many occasions, an injured worker will return to work but refuse to voluntarily sign a Supplemental Agreement to document the status of benefits. The Act provides a form of self-help for these...

July 27, 2008

ATVs Can Be Excluded From Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Yungwurth involves an individual injured while riding as a passenger on an ATV. At the time of the accident, the ATV was not being operated on a public road. The ATV was also not insured. The...

July 27, 2008

Box 4 Denial Back in Play?

In the wake of the Commonwealth Court’s decision in Jordan v. WCAB (Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.), the box 4 denial appeared to have seen its last days as an effective instrument for the carrier....

May 27, 2008

Commonwealth Court Discusses “Prompt" Requirement For Notice...

The Commonwealth Court clarified the “prompt written notice” requirement regarding a change in a claimant’s medical condition prior to pursing a modification of benefits. “Prompt written notice”...

May 27, 2008

Supreme Court Revisits “Accident” And “Occurrence”

This case addressed whether a homeowner insurer owes liability coverage to the insured parents of their son who shot six people. In affirming the dismissal of the insurer’s coverage action, the...

May 27, 2008

WCJ Allowed To Amend Work Injury On Own Motion

Defendant appealed the Workers' Compensation Judge’s decision denying a termination petition based upon credit medical evidence of an injury beyond that listed on the operative document. The...

May 27, 2008

Regularly Used Non-Owned Vehicle UIM Exclusion Upheld

In Brink, the insured police officer brought an action against his personal automobile insurer to recover underinsured motorist benefits for injuries sustained while the officer was driving a...

May 27, 2008

Bureau Now Requesting LIBC-392A On Some Cases

Although the specifics are not being made public, it appears that the Bureau has quietly started an audit aimed at closing their files on stale cases. In some cases, they are asking adjusters to...

May 27, 2008

A Bad "DIEHL" For Untimely IRE's

In an unexpected and controversial decision, the Commonwealth Court has held that the filing of a Modification Petition, based upon evidence of an impairment rating of less than fifty percent is...

May 27, 2008

Recent Allegheny County Verdicts

• Barlow v. Hamilton – Auto accident Defendant slid on ice into intersection.Plaintiff was partially blinded by sun.Neck, back, and head injuries with $7,000 medical specials.Jury found both...

March 27, 2008

Court Restricts Employer’s Right To Offset

In Maxim Crane Work v. WCAB (Solano), the Commonwealth Court restricted an employer’s right to take an offset against a claimant’s workers’ compensation benefits, based on the claimant’s receipt...

March 27, 2008

Mere Passage Of Time Sufficient For IME

In Linda Davis v. WCAB (Woolworth Corporation), the Commonwealth Court addressed the issue of whether the “mere passage of time” constituted sufficient grounds to require a claimant to submit to...

March 27, 2008

Good Faith Defense In Dram Shop Cases

The Pennsylvania Dram Shop Act holds that it is negligence per se to serve a minor with alcohol. However, under Section 495 of the Act, no penalty shall be imposed on the bar if it establishes...

March 27, 2008

Spoliation Of Evidence In Fire Cases

In Schroeder v. DOT, 710 A.2d 23 (Pa. 1998), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted the spoliation of evidence standards set forth in Schmid v. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, 13 F.3d 76 (3rd...

March 27, 2008

Impairment Rating Evaluation Impact On Modification And Termination...

In Sign Innovation v. WCAB (Ayers), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court addressed the impact of an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) on the Employer’s attempt to modify a Claimant’s benefits...

March 27, 2008

The Importance Of Timely Payments Of Settlement Proceeds

A recent Commonwealth Court case upheld an award of a 5% penalty for the Defendant/Employer’s failure to timely pay an Order approving a Compromise and Release Agreement. Although the facts of the...

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