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PA Supreme Court: Minor Deviations from Underinsured Motorist Coverage Rejection Form

by Patrick Casey

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: very minor deviations from underinsured motorist coverage rejection form permitted

In Ford v. American States Insurance Company, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently clarified that “de minimis,” or minor, deviations from the underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage rejection form set out in Section 1731 of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law can nevertheless “specifically comply” with Section 1731.  Ford v. American States Ins. Co., No. 13 WAP 2016, 2017 WL 694744 (Pa. February 22, 2017).

Section 1731 requires that insurers obtain the signature of any insured wishing to reject UIM coverage on a form that contains specific language dictated by the General Assembly.  Continue reading

Representing the Military Client

By: Amelia Lolli, Esquire

Burlington County New Jersey is home to Joint Base MDL (JBMDL), which employs approximately 42,000 soldiers between the three bases (McGuire, Ft. Dix and Lakehurst).  Approximately 60,000 military retirees live within a 50 mile radius of JBMDL.  With such a dense population of active military and retirees, there is a good opportunity an attorney in the Central/Southern New Jersey region will represent current/former military personnel during the course of their legal career.  As an attorney, and also as the military member, individuals should be aware of several special considerations when it comes to providing or seeking legal counsel. Continue reading

Key Legislation for Realtors moves from PA House to Senate

Last week House Bill 1437 passed to the Senate Urban Action Committee for consideration. House Bill 1437 proposes to amend Pennsylvania Municipal Code and Ordinance Act, 68P.S.§1081, to:
(1) provide a more detailed definition of “unfit for habitation”
(2) define and differentiate between “substantial violation” from less severe “violations”
(3) place restrictions and requirements on municipalities to issue a certificate of occupancy based on any “substantial violations” or “violations”
(4) create and define new categories of temporary use and occupancy permits and temporary access certificates allowing sales to go forward, but requiring work to be corrected before new owner occupies the property. Continue reading

NJ Supreme Court – Duty Of Homeowners Associations – Maintain Sidewalks Within The Common Interest Community

New Jersey Supreme Court Clarifies Duty Of Homeowners Associations To Maintain Privately Owned Sidewalks Within The Common Interest Community

By: Christopher P. Lagay, Esq.

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently published an opinion which clarifies the liabilities of “common interest communities,” such as homeowner’s associations, for maintenance of the common areas under the association’s control. In Qian v. Toll Brothers, 223 N.J. 124 (2015), the Court reversed the appellate divisions affirmance of summary judgment granted by the trial court to the homeowner’s association and management community, and remanded the case. Continue reading

Determining Realty Or Personalty For Liability Under PA Subdivision Tort Claims Act

Determining Whether Something Is A Part Of Realty Or Personalty For Purposes Of Liability Under The Pennsylvania Subdivision Tort Claims Act

By: Steven M. Liero, Esquire

When an action is brought against a political subdivision, such as a school district or a municipality, a question arise whether the claim falls within an exception to the immunity enjoyed by the subdivision.

Most often claims are brought pursuant to the real estate exception contained in 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8542(b)(c). To invoke this section, the plaintiff must show that a) the injury resulted from a defective condition that b) stemmed from the care, custody or control of real estate, not personalty. Mellon v. City of Pittsburgh Zoo, 768 A.2d 921 (Pa. Cmwlth 2000). The question becomes more complicated when the real estate contains not only a building or grounds around the building, but a device attached to the building. As an example, a question arises whether a metal cleat, attached to a gym wall in a school on which a person is injured is part of the realty itself or simply an item of personalty. If the latter, the plaintiff’s injury would not fall within the real estate exception to immunity and that person could not recover for pain and suffering. Continue reading

Delay Damages in a UM Case are Based on the Molded Verdict and Not the Jury Award

By: Steven M. Liero, Esquire

On December 28, 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Marlette, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 57 A.3d 1224 (2012) a series of consolidated cases held that delay damages in an uninsured motorist action are calculated on the verdict as molded by the Court, not on the full amount originally awarded by the jury. Continue reading

For Whom The Bell Tolls? – Widening The Scope Of New Jersey Condominium Association Alternative Dispute Resolution

For Whom The Bell Tolls? – Widening The Scope Of New Jersey Condominium Association Alternative Dispute Resolution After Bell Tower Condominium Association V. Haffert

By: Angela B. Kosar, Esq.

Condominium Associations in New Jersey have recently found themselves with a new order of business on their meeting agendas – reexamining their existing alternative dispute resolution procedures between and among their unit owners and the condominium association. This year, The New Jersey Appellate Division in Bell Tower Condominium Association v. Haffert, 423 N.J. Super. 507 (App. Div.) cert. denied 210 N.J. 217 (2012) broadly construed the term “housing-related disputes” as set forth in the New Jersey Condominium Act to include a dispute between a unit owner and the condominium association board over the manner in which a special assessment was approved. However, it is the use of the word “broadly” in the opinion that has far reaching ramifications. Continue reading

NJ Superior Court Judge Dismisses Texting Lawsuit

By: Amelia Lolli, Esquire

On May 25, 2012, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge granted summary judgment in the case of Kubert v. Best, in favor of a defendant, Shannon Colonna, who was accused of sending a text message to a friend while he was driving. On September 19, 2009, Kyle Best, age 19, received a text message from a female friend while operating his motor vehicle in Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey. Mr. Best lost control of his vehicle, crossed the yellow line and struck David and Linda Kubert on their motorcycle. Both individuals suffered very serious personal injuries. Continue reading

Limits Condo Property Liability

By: Michael S. Mikulski, Esquire
(Originally Posted on: December 27, 2011)

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently decided the case of Luchejko v. City of Hoboken. This case significantly limits the potential liability of condominium associations and property managers for removing snow and ice from public sidewalks.

Brief Summary – there is no sidewalk liability for a condominium complex for failure to remove snow and/or ice as a condominium complex is determined to be residential, and therefore residential immunities apply. Continue reading