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December 30, 2011

by Lisa A. Cauley, Esquire

Approximately 20 months ago, the Pennsylvania Legislature made significant changes to Pennsylvania law regarding Joint and Several Liability Statute and Comparative Negligence Act. The amended Act, known as the “Fair Share Act” made significant changes to joint and several liability in cases involving multiple defendants. Under the “Fair Share Act”, joint liability was abolished in causes of action arising after the effective date of the Act, August 18, 2002, in cases seeking damages for property damage or for injury or death to a person. Prior to the enactment of the Fair Share Act, any defendant found liable for a plaintiff’s loss could be made to pay the entire verdict, no matter the amount of that defendant’s proportionate share of liability.

December 27, 2011

Sharon Harvey, Esquire

The law in Pennsylvania allows the imposition of punitive damages on1y for conduct that is outrageous The defendant's evil motive or his reckless indifference to the rights of must be evaluated Chambers v. Montgomery, 411 Pa. 339, 492 A. 2d 355 (1963). Punitive damages are normally allowed in tort actions but punitive damages have also been allowed in contract actions when one parties action has been so outrageous that the Court believed that an award of punitive damages was warranted. SHV Coal, Inc. v. Continental Grain Co. 526 Pa. 489, 587 A. 2d 702 (1991). Punitive damages are also available in an equity action if the chancellor in equity determines that a person's actions arise to outrageous conduct.

December 27, 2011

by Sharon F. Harvey, Esquire

The Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for workers who are injured on the job. Consequently, the employer of an injured worker is immune from a civil suit. However, some employees can actually have more than one employer. This situation may arise when an accident occurs on a construction site where workers of various trades come onto the job site and their activities are controlled by the general contractor. A general contractor who attains the status of a statutory employer is also entitled to immunity from civil suit for negligence claims. Section 52 of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act (hereinafter the Act) sets forth the "statutory employer" defense. The Act states as follows:

December 27, 2011

by Lisa Cauley, Esquire

On December 30, 2005, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered its decision on the long-contested issue of whether automobile insurance policies issued in Pennsylvania are required to contain a provision that uninsured ("UM") and underinsured ("UIM") claims be resolved by way of mandatory, binding arbitration. Arbitration of UM and UIM claims has long been the practice in Pennsylvania, and prior attempts by insurers to eliminate, or render optional, arbitration of such 

December 27, 2011

by Lisa A. Cauley, Esquire

Since 1988, New Jersey drivers have had the option of agreeing to restrict their right to sue for injuries sustained in automobile accidents in exchange for payment of lower insurance premiums. This restriction, known as "verbal threshold", limits recovery for non-economic damages, the most common example of which is "pain and suffering", unless the person sustained at least one of the delineated types of injury: 1) Death; 2) dismemberment; 3)