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Opinions

The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to present, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Judge John E. Jones III

Before the Court are the United States of America’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Doc. 66) filed on April 28, 2010 and the Plaintiff Brian Tech’s (“Plaintiff” or “Tech”) Motion for Class Certification (Doc. 71) filed on May 18, 2010. After full briefing, the Court held oral argument on the Motions on October 26, 2010. Accordingly, this matter is ripe for our review.

For the reasons that follow, both Motions shall be denied.

This action commenced on November 19, 2009, with the filing of a complaint by several property owners to recover damages allegedly arising from Defendants Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation (“Cabot”) and Gas Search Drilling Services Corporation’s (“Gas Search”) (collectively, “Defendants”) operation of natural gas wells in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. In the controlling Second Amended Complaint, filed on May 17, 2010, Plaintiffs Norma J. Fiorentino, et al. (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) assert the following causes of action: (I) a claim pursuant to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, 35 P.S. §§ 6020.101-6020.1305 (“HSCA”); (II) negligence; (III) private nuisance; (IV) strict liability; (V) breach of contract; (VI) fraudulent misrepresentation; (VII) medical monitoring trust funds; and (VIII) gross negligence. We have diversity jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because the amount in controversy with respect to each Plaintiff exceeds $75,000 and is between citizens of separate states. Presently before the Court are Defendants’ Motion to Strike certain allegations contained in the Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 26, “Motion to Strike”) and Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, in part (Doc. 28, “Motion to Dismiss”). Both Motions were filed on June 1, 2010 and have been fully briefed. (Docs. 27, 29, 31-34.) We will dispose of both Motions in this Memorandum and Order.

Before the Court in this wrongful death/survival action is Defendants Precision Airmotive LLC, Precision Airmotive Corporation, Burns International Services Corporation, Former Fuel Systems, Inc.,1 and Mark IV Industries, Inc.’s (“Carburetor Defendants”) Motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of Plaintiff Jill Sikkelee’s (“Plaintiff”) Complaint. (Doc. 107). For the reasons articulated in this Memorandum, the Court will grant in part and deny in part the Motion and grant Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint.

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff The Harrisburg Authority’s (“THA”) appeal from the July 14, 2009 discovery order issued by Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser, (Doc. 78), which resolved THA’s Motion to Compel, (Doc. 59). For the reasons that follow, we shall deny the appeal and affirm the Magistrate Judge’s July 14, 2009 order.

Currently pending before the Court are three motions for summary judgment. The first was filed by Defendant Xspand, Inc. (“Xspand”). (Doc. 445). The second is a partial motion for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff Municipal Revenue Service, Inc. (“Plaintiff” or “MRS”). (Doc. 449). The third was filed by Defendant Bear Stearns & Co., Inc. (“Bear”). (Doc. 451). For the reasons that follow, all three motions shall be granted in part and denied in part.

Pending before this Court is Defendant Michael Coates’ Motion to Suppress (Doc. 28) filed on June 15, 2009. Evidentiary hearings were conducted on October 28, 2009 and November 25, 2009. After the official transcripts were filed, the parties filed post-hearing submissions. (Docs. 72, 73 and 74). Accordingly, the matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, the Motion shall be denied.

Currently pending before the Court are two motions to dismiss the amended complaint of Plaintiff Keystone Redevelopment Partners, LLC (“Keystone”). Both motions to dismiss (collectively, “the Motions”), filed by Intervenor/Defendant HSP Gaming L.P. (“HSP”) and the Board Defendants respectively, were filed on March 27, 2009. (Doc. 51) (the “HSP Motion”); (Doc. 53) (the “Board Motion”). For the following reasons, we shall grant in part and deny in part the Motions.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

This is a property dispute arising between the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) and Sunshine Development, Incorporated (“Sunshine”). USPS contends that it appropriately exercised a purchase option provision contained in a lease governing a United States Post Office branch in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and is thereby entitled to purchase fee simple title to the property. Sunshine rejects this contention, argues that the lease expired, and claims that USPS is a holdover tenant liable for fair market rents. Presently before the court is Sunshine’s motion for partial summary judgment. (See Doc. 20.) For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted.

Presently before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) filed by Shahid Qureshi (“Qureshi”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Qureshi challenges the denial of his application to adjust status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255a of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) and seeks an order directing the following parties to adjust his status to that of lawful permanent resident: the Administrative Appeals Office of the Bureau of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“AAO”); Robert P. Weimann, chief of the AAO; Evangelia A. Klapakis, district director of the Philadelphia District of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”); United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“USICE”), and; James T. Hayes, Jr., director of USICE (collectively, “respondents”). For the reasons that follow, Qureshi’s petition will be denied.

Judge Yvette Kane

This putative class action is brought by three plaintiffs, Frank Robert Chester, Zachary Wilson, and Donald Hardcastle (“Plaintiffs”), each of whom has been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s practice of executing condemned prisoners by means of lethal injection subjects them to an unnecessary risk of excruciating pain and suffering and therefore violates Plaintiffs’ rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and to due process of law under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to enjoin Defendants from executing Plaintiffs by lethal injection as currently authorized and implemented by the Commonwealth.

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