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.

11/04/2003

  • 3:00cv1142 BROMINSKI v. COUNTY OF LUZERNE, et al.
    File:

    In August 1992, Luzerne County hired the plaintiff to serve as its Chief Clerk of Assessment. Complaint ¶ 12. During his employment, plaintiff supervised 40-50 employees in the County’s Tax Assessor’s office. See Defendants’ Exhib. 3, p. 22-23. In December 1999, as part of its annual budgeting process, the County finalized the 2000 fiscal year budget. See id. Exhib. 1B. In order to meet the parameters of the budget and the total amount of salaries that were allowed, the county realigned certain departments and eliminated certain positions from the budget, including three (3) full-time positions in the County Assessor’s office. See id. Exhib. 2. After the budget was adopted on December 30, 1999, the plaintiff was notified of the elimination of his position and his termination. See id. Exhib. 3, p. 36.

    In January 1999, plaintiff announced his candidacy and sought the democratic nomination for the office of County Commissioner of Luzerne County. Complaint ¶ 14. Plaintiff was unsuccessful in his campaign for County Commissioner. Id. ¶ 19. Plaintiff claims that he was terminated from his position in retaliation for exercising his constitutional rights. Id. ¶ 21.

10/30/2003

  • 1:03-CR-129 USA v. LYNCH
    File:

    Defendant has moved to suppress all of the evidence seized and to suppress his identification by the officers as “tainted.” Defendant argues (1) it was unreasonable for Officer Fry to stop Defendant’s vehicle, (2) the officers’ identification of Defendant as the driver of the vehicle was unnecessarily suggestive and therefore unreliable, (3) the search of Defendant’s vehicle and the seizure of its contents were unlawful and not justified under the inventory or plain view exceptions.

10/27/2003

  • 3:01cv1998 RADER v. WEA MANUFACTURING, INC.
    File:

    On January 18, 1993, WEA Manufacturing, Inc. (“WEA”) hired plaintiff as a full-time Mechanical Designer in its Research and Development (“R&D”) Department. Complaint ¶ 6. Plaintiff was fifty-three years of age at the time he was hired. Id. ¶ 5-6. WEA operates a manufacturing facility that produces various multimedia products, including Compact Discs (“CDs”), information CDs (“CD-ROMs”) and Digital Versatile Discs (“DVDs”). Jeffrey Raider Aff. ¶ 3.

    On December 13, 2000, plaintiff was informed that the Machine and Mold Shop (“the Shop”) was going to be eliminated and all part fabrication would be outsourced. Id. ¶ 26. Plaintiff was also informed that, since his position was part of this department, he would be terminated. Id. ¶ 27. On April 10, 2001, at the age of sixty-one, plaintiff was terminated. Id. ¶ 43. Plaintiff claims that the functions of his position were still required and were distributed among several other employees who were not as qualified or experienced. Id. ¶ 48. Plaintiff also claims that all of the other younger Shop employees and their supervisor were not terminated. Id. ¶ 6.

10/17/2003

  • 1:CV-99-854 SHELLEM v. MAYS, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiffs’ civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 is before the Court on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Defendants argue that this 1983 civil rights action must be dismissed on two bases: (1) that the undisputed facts do not demonstrate violation of a constitutional right, and (2) that even assuming that Plaintiffs have established violation of a protected right, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment will be denied.

10/15/2003

  • 3:02cv44 STONE v. DISABILITY MANAGEMENT SERVICES, et al.
    File:

    In March 2000, plaintiff was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Id. at ¶ 8. As a result, plaintiff has cut back on his work by 50 %. Id. Sometime after plaintiff became ill, he filed a claim with Defendant Equitable. Defendant Disability Management Services (“DMS”), a third party administrator for Equitable, began payment on plaintiff ’s claim in April 2000. Id. at ¶ 10. On April 13, 2001, DMS began payments under a different calculation system, which takes into account his ownership share in the business in calculating his “monthly earnings.” Id. at ¶ 11, Exhibits B and C. In applying this system, DMS has reduced the monthly payments it makes to plaintiff in proportion to losses that the business has been facing . Id. Plaintiff disagrees with the method of benefit calculation and therefore filed the present suit. Id. at ¶ 12.

09/12/2003

  • 1:CV-03-693 CRAWFORD v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al.
    File:

    This action arises out of the events surrounding the investigation and trial of Plaintiff, Steven Crawford, for the 1970 murder of John Eddie Mitchell. In 1974, at the age of fourteen, Plaintiff was charged with the crime. He was found guilty by three different juries in 1974, 1977, and 1978, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Plaintiff was released from prison after twenty-eight years, on July 16, 2002, upon the discovery of exculpatory evidence during the course of Plaintiff’s habeas proceedings.

09/10/2003

  • 3:02cv1989 McFERRON v. L.R. COSTANZO COMPANY, INC.. et al.
    File:

    Defendant LR. Costanzo hired plaintiff on March 11, 1999. Plaintiff contends that she has been exposed to a sexually hostile work environment and has been subject to two forced sexual encounters with Defendant Michalek. In October 2001, plaintiff’s employer requested that she sign an arbitration agreement that would in effect cause her to give up her civil rights and the ability to complain to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or take the company to court. Plaintiff’s attorney notified the company on October 29, 2001 that she did not want to sign the agreement because of Michalek’s unwelcome sexual attention, unwelcome sexual conduct, sexual assault and because of the hostile work environment. On November 12, 2001, Costanzo placed plaintiff on twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave. Michalek remains in a managerial position and has jurisdiction over everybody in the company. As a result, plaintiff remains fearful of returning to the company. On January 2, 2002, a psychiatrist advised her not to return. A more detailed explanation of the alleged facts is set forth infra where appropriate.

09/09/2003

  • 3:01cv0973 ADMIRAL INSURANCE CO. v. GINADER, JONES & CO., LLP, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff is an insurance company that provided movants with a million dollar professional liability policy, covering June 6, 1999 to June 6, 2000. Movants are certified public accountants who acted as outside auditors for Novick Chemical Co. In November 1999, movants were sued in an underlying state action for professional malpractice by Defendants Novick Chemical Co., Inc., Edward Novick, and Roberta Novick (“Novick Defendants”). Novick Defendants alleged, inter alia, that movants inaccurately recorded their financial statements.

    Movants request that the court dismiss the declaratory judgment complaint with prejudice. They further request that plaintiff be fined for failing to participate in discovery according to its obligations. Finally, they reques tthat plaintiff be ordered to pay all appropriate fees of movants associated with preparation of the numerous rescheduled depositions and the present motions. For the reasons that follow, we will grant the motion in part.

08/07/2003

  • 3:03cv1228 HARPER v. U.S. PENITENTIARY LEWISBURG, et al.
    File:

    Harper alleges that the defendants are denying him medical treatment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, by refusing to admit him to a private medical facility. As a result, he initiated the instant action on July 23, 2003, in which he seeks to permanently enjoin defendants from interfering with and/or preventing an independent medical examination at an outside facility.

07/28/2003

  • 1:CV-00-1192 CORNEAL v. JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Huntingdon County, PA, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiffs, David and Sandra Corneal (“the Corneals”), filed this case alleging the following: violations of their rights pursuant to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution (Count I); that Defendants engaged in a civil conspiracy in violation of Pennsylvania common law (Count II); that Defendants intentionally interfered with the Corneals’ contractual relations (Count III); and that Defendants’ actions violated the Pennsylvania Constitution (Count IV). Defendants in this action include the following: (1) Jackson Township, Pennsylvania; (2) W. Thomas Wilson; (3) Michael Yoder; (4) Ralph Wiler; (5) Ann L. Wirth, Jackson Township Secretary; (6) David Van Dommelen, Jackson Township’s building permit officer; and (7) Barry Parks, Sewage EnforcementOfficer for Jackson Township. Defendants Wilson, Yoder, and Wiler are members of the Jackson Township Board of Supervisors (“the Board”). The court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action based on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367.

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