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Pennsylvania Supreme Court grapples with distinction between gross negligence and recklessness.

By Christopher P. Lagay

In the case of Feleccia v. Lackawanna College, No. 74 MAP 2017, 215 A.3d 3 (Pa. 2019), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard an appeal from the Lackawanna College defendants, after their motion for summary judgment, granted by the trial court, was reversed on appeal by the Superior Court.

Plaintiffs, Feleccia and Resch were student athletes at Lackawanna College, trying out for the football team in March of 2010.  Lackawanna College’s football department had lost its two athletic trainers in the summer of 2009, and had hired two recent graduates with degrees in Athletic Training, though neither had passed their athletic trainer certification exam at the time they were hired for the position.  In fact, after their hiring, both new hires failed their certification exam, and the Lackawanna re-titled their position to “first responder,” though they did not sign new or different job descriptions.

Lackawanna College moved for and was granted summary judgment, based primarily on waiver.  Finding the negligence claims barred, the trial court ruled the claim for punitive damages also failed, and discussion of the waiver’s applicability to the punitive damages claim was unnecessary.

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The state of product liability law in Pennsylvania post Tincher v. Omegaflex

By Christopher P. Lagay

Product liability litigation in Pennsylvania was significantly altered by the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Tincher v. Omega Flex, Inc., 628 Pa. 296 (2014),  which overruled Azzarello v. Black Brothers Company, 480 Pa. 547 (1978), and returned to fact finders the responsibility to determine if a product was unreasonably dangerous, based on a full evaluation of the proofs offered by the plaintiff.

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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