Opinions

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.

06/23/2004

  • 3:01-2217 SOPP v. CNA INSURANCE CO., et al.
    File:

    The documents submitted by the parties establish that Mr. Sopp was involved in a motor vehicle accident on May 5, 1999, which occurred while he was in the scope of his employment with co-defendant Kraft Foods. He sustained a number of injuries as a result of the motor vehicle accident, mostly to his left upper extremity, which are discussed in more detail below. He applied for and received short term disability benefits through August 31, 1999.

06/09/2004

  • 1:CV-03-198 GROVE, et al. v. CITY OF YORK, PA, et al.
    File:

    The instant case is a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C § 1983 wherein Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, and free exercise of religion. The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.1 Plaintiffs are individuals who practice Christianity and whose sincerely held religious beliefs require them to preach publicly “in order to make the public aware of sin, including the sin of Halloween and of abortion.” (Pls.’ Sep. Stat. of Mat. Facts ¶ 3.) Plaintiffs exercise their religious beliefs by traveling to events across the country that draw large numbers of people in order to preach to crowds gathered at these events, to hand out tracts containing religious exhortations and to display signs containing, among other things, pictures of aborted fetuses. Defendants Russell Tschopp III, Kim Hibner, Eddie Lowe, and Roger Nestor are officers of the Police Department of the City of York (collectively “the Individual Defendants”). All of the Individual Defendants have had, at the time of their training at the police academy, training in the area of free speech rights. Defendant City of York (“the City”) is a municipal corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

05/17/2004

  • 3:CV-02-1526 BEARLEY v. FRIENDLY ICE CREAM CORPORATION
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Defendant Friendly Ice Cream Corporation’s (hereinafter Friendly’s) Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 12.) Plaintiff Dorothy Bearley is alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Friendly’s motion will be granted with respect to the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. 1367.

05/11/2004

  • 3:CV-03-2412 CHIEN CHIU TSAI v. JOHN ASHCROFT, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion’s Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 2.) Magistrate Judge Mannion recommends that I dismiss the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1) and direct the INS1 to treat the petition as a request for administrative review under 8 C.F.R. § 241.4. Based on the following, I will reject the Report and Recommendation because Petitioner has exhausted his administrative remedies.

04/27/2004

  • 3:02-1801 KNOBLAUCH v. METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE CO., INC., et al.
    File:

    The documents submitted by the parties establish that Mr. Knoblauch was employed by co-defendant Metropolitan Life (“MetLife” ) as of August 23, 2000, at which time he stopped working as a result of a diagnosis of pancreatitis, with subsequent serious and prolonged complications. He applied for and received short term disability benefits under the Disability Insurance Plan (“plan”) maintained by MetLife for the benefit of its employees. After the required period of short term disability benefits expired, the plaintiff applied for and received long term disability benefits under the plan. The plan is administered by co-defendant Synchrony Integrated Disability Services, Inc. On May 7, 2002, the plaintiff’s long term disability benefits were terminated retroactive to April 30, 2002. The benefits were terminated at that time because the defendants concluded, after reviewing the plaintiff’s medical records, including a functional capacity examination (“FCE”), that the plaintiff had recovered sufficiently from his medical conditions so that he could return to his regular job duties as a sales representative, or another similar job in the local economy. (Doc. No. 20, pp. 111-112). The plaintiff filed an administrative appeal of this determination with the plan administrator which was denied on July 16, 2002.

04/23/2004

  • 1:CV-04-0295 GOMEZ v. BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS
    File:

    Before the court is Petitioner Luis Gomez’s petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner, who is currently detained in Pike County, Pennsylvania, challenges the lawfulness of his final order of removal from the United States and asserts that his removal is not appropriate because he is a national under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22). Because the court concludes that Petitioner is not a national, the court will deny his habeas petition.

04/08/2004

  • 1:CV-03-0927 ABDEL-MUHTI v. ASHCROFT, et. al
    File:

    Petitioner Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a detainee of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), is subject to a final order of removal dated September 25, 1995, to deport him to either Jordan or Israel. (Doc. No. 8, Ex. 1). He filed this habeas corpus petition, brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, in the District Court for the District of New Jersey on November 6, 2002. On June 3, 2003, after Petitioner was moved to the York County Prison, his case was transferred to this Court. An Amended Verified Petition was filed on September 11, 2003. (Doc. No. 8). A hearing on the petition was conducted on March 30, 2004.1 Petitioner alleges, inter alia, that his continued detention while awaiting removal, now approaching two years, is in violation of §241(a)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001). For the reasons explained below, this Court must agree. Accordingly, his release will be ordered under conditions of supervision set forth in 8 U.S.C. §1231(a)(3) and implementing regulations.

     

04/06/2004

  • 3:CV-03-1803 FLOOD, et al. v. MAKOWSKI, et al. (4)
    File:

    Presently before the Court are two partial motions dismiss the third-party complaints against Michael Morreale. (Docs. 257.1 and 258.1.) I will grant the motion to dismiss the indemnity claim brought by Defendants Makowski, Pizano, Crossin, and Jones (hereinafter Makowski et al.) because, as voting members of the Luzerne County Retirement Board, no trustee can be more responsible than any other trustee. I will dismiss the claim of intentional interference with contractual relations1 raised by ASCO Financial Group, Donald Williamson, Maria Williamson, Joseph Perfilio, and Michael Joyce (hereinafter ASCO et al.) because Michael Morreale was acting as an agent of the Luzerne County retirement plan. The accompanying request for punitive damages is therefore also dismissed, thus, Mr. Morreale’s motion to dismiss punitive damages is moot.

03/25/2004

  • 3:03cv746 WHITSON v. SAFESKIN CORPORATION, INC., et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff Jean Whitson was employed as a registered nurse at Hanover General Hospital in Hanover, Pennsylvania, from April 21, 1990 to June 25, 1997. As a nurse, she used and was exposed to natural rubber latex gloves. As a consequence of her exposure to latex gloves, Ms. Whitson has suffered a permanent hypersensitivity to products containing the natural latex protein. Ms. Whitson alleges that she was exposed and sensitized to natural rubber latex in gloves that were predominantly manufactured and/or distributed by Safeskin Corporation, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Medical (“defendants”).

    Plaintiffs commenced this action on December 29, 1997, by filing a complaint that asserts counts in Negligence, Strict Products Liability, Failure to Warn, Breach of Express and Implied Warranties, Fraudulent Concealment, and Loss of Consortium. On March 9, 2001, the Honorable Edmund V. Ludwig of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered an Order granting in part Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that plaintiffs’ tort claims were time-barred under Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations, and that plaintiffs’ express and implied warranty claims were similarly time-barred with respect to glove sales prior to December 27, 1993, based on Pennsylvania’s four-year statute of limitations governing warranty actions. Upon plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration, the Eastern District Court vacated its March 9, 2001 Order with respect to plaintiffs’ loss of consortium claim only.

     

  • 3:03-0989 THOMAS v. THE LUZERNE COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, et al.
    File:

    Pending before the court is “Defendants, Craig R. Bardell, M.D., Susan Day, P.A., and Wexford Health Sources, Inc., Motion for More Definitive Statement and Motion to Strike.” (Doc. No. 3).

    On June 13, 2003, the plaintiffs, Christine Thomas, individually and as co-administratrix of the estate of Erin Finley, and Mark Thomas, as coadministrator of the estate of Erin Finley, filed this action against the abovenamed defendants alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, the plaintiffs set forth pendent state law claims for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, wrongful death and survival.

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