The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2012, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.


  • 3:98-CV-1330 BRADBURY v. LOMBARDO, et al.

    This case arises out of plaintiff’s termination from her position as Code Enforcement Administrator of Pittston City on April 14, 1998. Plaintiff claims that she was terminated without benefit of notice, hearing, or court adjudication.

    In April of 1997, Defendants Michael Lombardo, Thom as McFadden, and Philip Campenni ran in the democratic primary for positions of Mayor and Councilmen, respectively, and were elected to thos e positions in Novem ber of 1997. Ms. Bradbury’s political affiliation was different from the defendants’ and she participated in the campaigns of their opponents. In early 1998, it was determined that, due to budgetary concerns, it would be necessary to eliminate certain positions and redistribute job responsibilities. At that point, the plaintiff’s position was terminated without notice or hearing. It is agreed that the termination did not occur “for cause,” as there were no complaints regarding the job performance of the plaintiff .




    The instant case involves a breach of contract claim and bad faith claim arising from an automobile accident. The case was removed to this court on December 29, 1998. On September 21, 1999 , Michael J. McDonald was appointed as a Master to resolve certain discovery issues. On May 31, 2000, the Master filed his recommendation with the court. An order was issued by this court on June 2, 2000, informing the parties that they would be allowed ten days in which to file any written objections. On June 20, 2000, the defendant filed its objections to the recommendation. On June 20, 2000, the court also received a letter from the plaintiff’s counsel, stating that he had no objections to the Master’s recommendation and urging the court to adopt the Master’s report.



    Before me is the Motion to Compel Testimony (doc. 200) filed by the defendants seeking to compel the testimony of Karen Morrissey, plaintiff’s Rule 30(b)(6) designee, and to sanction plaintiff’s refusal to permit her to answer questions at her deposition. Because I choose to follow King v. Pratt & Whitney, 161 F.R.D. 475 (S.D. Fla. 1995), the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.



    Pending is a second motion for summary judgment in this action arising from Defendants’ alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-54. On May 24, 2000, we granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claim that her employer, Vanguard Cellular Systems, retaliated against her for asserting her FMLA rights.


  • 3:CV-00-0032 PARKER v. LINCOLN TRUST, et al.

    On December 18, 1996, a Wyoming state trial court entered a judgment against the debtor in the total amount of $1,336,504.85, including $500,000.00 in punitive damages, based upon claims against the debtor for, inter alia, breach of contract, frau d, and negligence. The judgment was entered as a re sult of the debtor’s failure to comply with discovery requests, inclu ding a dep osition scheduled for O ctober 199 6, and his failu re to respond to plaintiffs’ motion for a default judgment, issued November 4, 1996 and granted November 15, 1996. After a hea ring at which the deb tor did not participate, the Wyoming court assessed damages in the above amount on December 18, 1996. The debtor had been ordered, on July 14 , 1996, to pro vide the co urt with updated add resses for pu rpose of ser vice. Despite this admonition, the debtor failed to apprise the court of his move to Pennsylvania on September 12, 1996. Nevertheless, debtor reported his change of address to the post office. The debtor contends that the motion for default, as well as the October notice of deposition, reached him after the default had been entered as a result of the faulty address. He avers he had no knowledge that he could move for reconsideration of th e default or th at he could contest the matter at the damages phase of the proceeding. The debtor filed for bankruptcy on July 30, 1997. On November 4, 1997, the plaintiffs initiated an adversary proceeding by filing a complaint in the bankruptcy court, pursuan t to 11 U.S.C. § 523 (a)(2), (4) and (6), objecting to the dischargeab ility of the debt incurred pursuant to the Wyoming court judgment.


  • 1:CV-99-2018 STRIKE v. ATLAS VAN LINES, INC.

    The defendant, Atlas Van Lines, transported personal household goods for the plaintiffs, Mr. And Mrs. Strike. An item transported in an Atlas van along with other items was a pickup truck belonging to the Strikes. During transport, the complaint alleges, the truck’s gasoline tank ruptured and approximately 25 gallons of gasoline spilled out into the van. Boxes containing the Strikes’ belongings were saturated with gasoline. Gasoline fumes permeated the Strikes’ possessions. Upon arrival at the Strikes’ new home in Wrightsville, in the absence of Mr. Strike from the home, the defendant’s employees moved boxes and belongings of the Strikes into the home. Mrs. Strike was overcome by the fumes. Both Mr. Strike and Mrs. Strike had to seek medical attention. The exposure of the Strikes to gasoline fumes in their possessions persisted, causing health problems for Mrs. Strike. The plaintiffs’ possessions were moved to a storage facility.


  • 3:CV-99-0918 WILBUR v. H & R BLOCK, INC.

    This matter is before me on plaintiff’s Amended Motion for Remand (doc. 11). The motion is accompanied by a document entitled “Affidavit” in which the plaintiff declares that “the amount in controversy does not exceed Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00).” (Aff. of Doris M. Wilbur, doc. 11). The document does not contain an indication of oath administered by a notary public or otherwise, nor does it state that it is made under the recognition that if false, it would be considered perjury or false swearing. 18 U.S.C. §1621, 18 Pa. C.S.A. §4904.

    There is no dispute that there is diversity of citizenship between the plaintiff and defendant. The only issue for resolution is whether the amount in controversy component of federal diversity jurisdiction has been satisfied. See 28 U.S.C. §1332(a).



    This is an insurance coverage dispute. Jurisdiction is founded upon diversity of citizenship. Presently before the Court are plaintiff’s and defendant’s cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, defendant’s motion will be granted and plaintiff’s motion will be denied.


  • 1:CV-99-1881 MARTINEZ v. INS

    Hilario Gerardo Cuesta Martinez, a deportable alien, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. The petitioner contends that his prolonged detention in INS custody awaiting deportation while the INS finds a country that will accept him violates his right to procedural and substantive due process under the fifth amendment.


  • 3:98-CV-0764 LESOINE v. COUNTY OF LACKAWANNA, et al.

    Plaintiff filed the present civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of her First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The defendants are: the County of Lackawanna (“Lackawanna”); Lackawanna County district attorney Michael J. Barrasse, Esq. (“Barrasse”); assistant district attorney Eugene M. Talerico, Jr., Esq. (“Talerico”); assistant district attorney Amy Shwed, Esq. (“Shwed”); detective John Fox (“Fox”); detective Joseph Jordan (“Jordan”); and detective James M. Reilly (“Reilly”). Plaintiff’s complaint alleges the following: I) Unlawful seizure of photographs during search on May 9, 1996 by defendants Fox, Jordan, and Reilly in violation of plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights; II) Unlawful seizure of plaintiff’s computer and computer software during search on May 10, 1996 by defendants Fox, Jordan, and Reilly in violation of plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights; III) Failure to grant a pre- or post-seizure hearing by defendants Barrasse, Talerico, and Shwed in violation of plaintiff’s First Amendment rights; IV) Failure to provide plaintiff with timely notice of the procedures necessary to reacquire the photographs seized during the search of plaintiff’s residence by defendants Barrasse, Talerico, and Shwed in violation plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment rights; V) Engagement in continued “investigation, oppression, and harassment” of plaintiff by defendants County of Lackawanna and defendants Barrasse and Talerico in violation of plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and; VI) Negligent failure to train and supervise detectives and employees of the District Attorney’s Office by defendants County of Lackawanna and Barrasse. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 13-18.)