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.

10/16/2001

  • 3:00cv1941 KINBACK CORPORATION v. QUAKER CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, INC.
    File:

    According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the facts are as follows: The Tamaqua Area School District invited sealed bids for the construction of a middle school in March 1999. On May 6, 1999, Quaker and Kinback were awarded the general trades contract and the electrical contract respectively.

    Kinback could perform a substantial portion of its electrical work only after other trades had completed certain portions of their work. The construction project began to experience delays as a result of Quaker being unable to meet any of its construction deadlines. The project began to operate out of sequence. Electrical work could not be installed in a productive manner until the building structure was reasonably complete; therefore, the other contractors had to substantially complete their work before Kinback could begin its primary work. Because of the delays caused by Quaker, Kinback had to accelerate staffing levels and work overtime in order to complete designated areas for the owner’s occupancy. As a result of the delays caused by Quaker, Kinback incurred substantial additional costs by not being able to complete the project by its final completion date. These additional costs include labor and material surcharges in excess of $250,000.00.

10/09/2001

  • 3:99-CV-0716 WALKER-SERRANO v. LEONARD, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff, Amanda Walker-Serrano, filed this civil rights action on May 4, 1999 against Donald Leonard, Dr. Clyde Ellsworth, Nancy Simon, and Pat Carpenter, individually and in their official capacities at Lackawanna Trail Schools, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violation of her First Amendment rights, emotional distress, and various state law claims. (Doc. 1.) Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on May 30, 2000. (Doc. 13.) Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt has recommended that the Court grant Defendants qualified immunity in their individual capacities, grant Defendants’ motion for summary judgment with respect to all Plaintiff’s federal claims, and that the state claims be dismissed without prejudice. (Report and Recommendation, Doc. 24.) Plaintiff filed a timely objection to the Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation. (Doc. 27.) After making a de novo determination of the case, I adopt that recommendation. Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on all claims, as Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights were not clearly established. Defendants‘ conduct did not violate any of Plaintiff’s First Amendment rights. I further find that the School District cannot be held liable under Monell liability for First Amendment violation. Accordingly, as Plaintiff’s federal law claims are dismissed, I agree with the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff’s state law claims are dismissed without prejudice.

10/03/2001

  • 3:00cv461 KONDRAT v. ASHCROFT, et al.
    File:

    Defendant Federal Bureau of Prisons hired the plaintiff, John Kondrat, as a physician assistant on May 11, 1997. Physician assistants work under the license of a physician, who grants them privileges to perform certain medical tasks. Plaintiff worked under the medical license of Dr. Niianjana Shah, the Clinical Director of the Federal Correctional Institution Schuylkill, (hereinafter “FCI-Schuylkill”). Plaintiff is a white Caucasian male of United States origin. Shah is a female of Indian national origin. She supervised the medical performance of the physician assistants employed at the institution.

    Plaintiff has brought a “reverse discrimination” suit against the defendants and alleges as follows in his complaint: During plaintiff’s employment at FCI-Schuylkill, Shah was heard to say in the presence of others that “this is a white man’s world” and that “she is sick of it.” Compl. ¶ 14. While he was employed there, Shah informed plaintiff that she intended to “get him” and that he was the only one she could “get.” Id. at ¶ 15. Other employees have heard Shah make racially inappropriate and derogatory remarks and have made complaints to Defendant Federal Bureau of Prisons management and personnel. Id. at 16 - 17.
  • 3:01-CV-798 SCHACH v. FORD MOTOR CO. and BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE NORTH AMERICAN TIRE, LLP.
    File:

    This action arises from an auto accident involving the Plaintiff. Defendant Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC (“Bridgestone/Firestone”) now moves to dismiss Plaintiff Shirley Schach’s product liability action as time-barred. (Doc. 22.) Because Plaintiff failed to file her amended complaint in a timely manner as prescribed by Pennsylvania law, and because neither the relation-back doctrine nor the discovery rule excuses her lateness, I will grant Bridgestone/Firestone’s motion to dismiss.

09/18/2001

  • 1:CV-01-1015 JAMES v. YORK COUNTY POLICE DEPT., et al.
    File:

    On June 8, 2001, Plaintiff filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit against the York County Police alleging that they deprived him of certain constitutional rights during his arrest, detention, interrogation and prosecution for unspecified state criminal charges. Plaintiff’s complaint, construed liberally, alleges the following: 1) excessive force used by the police during his arrest; 2) unlawful search and seizure of his person and property during the arrest and investigation; 3) failure to advise Plaintiff of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona and coercion and entrapment of him during questioning; 4) denial of Plaintiff’s request to speak to an attorney before and during questioning; 5) unlawful detention; 6) excessive bond set for Plaintiff’s release; and 7) police harassment of Plaintiff’s wife and her sister.

  • 3:99-1986 EVAN v. ESTELL
    File:

    Before the court is the plaintiff Mary Lou Evan’s motion to preclude the defendant’s introduction at trial of surveillance videotape evidence. (Doc. No. 24). This matter has come before the court as a result of an automobile accident that occurred on September 12, 1997. Following that accident, a civil action was filed by the plaintiff in the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County but later removed by the defendant to this federal court. (Doc. No. 1). In June of 2000, a case management order was entered by the Honorable Raymond J. Durkin in which he set forth dates to control the orderly pretrial progression of this matter. (Doc. No. 9). Included in that order was a discovery deadline of June 1, 2000. By order of the court, and agreement of counsel, that discovery deadline was later extended until September 30, 2000.

09/14/2001

  • 3:00cv155 DEMYUN v. PA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff was hired by Defendant Pennsylvania Department of Corrections as a psychologist in November 1993. He originally worked at the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield. Approximately fifteen months after being hired, he was transferred to SCIMahanoy.

    During the Spring of 1996, he publicly opposed religious/racial discrimination perpetrated against another psychologist by Defendant Youron. In the same year, he opposed racial discrimination against an inmate. He claims that he was the subject of harassment due to these actions and brought a six count discrimination action.
     
    In his complaint, the plaintiff asserts the following causes of action: Count I, violation of First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; Count II, violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1988; Count III, Conspiracy; Count IV, violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Count V, violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act; Count VI, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Defendants have moved for summary judgment averring that: 1) the Eleventh Amendment bars all claims against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections except for the Title VII claim and the damages claims against the three officials of the Commonwealth in their official capacities; 2) individual employees cannot be held liable under the Title VII claim; 3) plaintiff has failed to allege violations of rights secured under the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment (Count I); 4) the plaintiff did not adequately plead his conspiracy claims; and 5) the officials are immune from liability as to the pendent state law tort claims.

     

08/31/2001

  • 3:99cv2179 FREEMAN v. MURRAY, et al.
    File:

    As alleged in the plaintiff’s complaint, the facts are as follows: Plaintiff was an employee of Defendant Marsch-Kellogg American Legion Post. On or about March 12, 1997, a representative of the American Legion contacted Defendant Trooper Mark H. Murray and requested that an investigation into financial shortages of the American Legion Post be conducted. The A merican Legion had retained Defendant Harriet L. Earnest, CPA to examine its financial records. She determined that the money was missing from the American Legion’s “ticket” money, that is ticket money earned by the American Legion from the sale of raffle tickets from ticket machines. On or about June 24, 1998, Defendant Mark H. Murray filed a criminal complaint against plaintiff contending that she was responsible for keeping the ledger on the ticket money during the period in question. Plaintiff w as arrested and requ ired to post bond.

  • 3:CV-99-0892 GORECKI v. MASSANARI
    File:

    Plaintiff brought this action on June 3, 1999 claiming the Social Security Administration’s denial of supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was not supported by substantial evidence. (Compl., Doc. 1.) Plaintiff filed his motion for summary judgment on December 15, 1999. (Doc. 11.) Defendant filed its motion for summary judgment and a brief in support on February 14, 2000. (Doc. 14.) Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt filed his Report and Recommendation on August 15, 2000 recommending that Plaintiff’s motion be denied and Defendant’s motion be granted. (“R. & R.” or “Report”, Doc. 16.) Plaintiff timely filed objections to the Report, (Pl.’s Objections to the R. & R., Doc. 17) to which Defendant responded on September 11, 2000. (Def.’s Response to Pl.’s Objections to the R. & R. by the Magistrate Judge, Doc. 18.) Because I find that the determination of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) was inconsistent with settled law, the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge Blewitt will be adopted in part and not adopted in part.

  • 3:CV-99-0892 GORECKI v. MASSANARI
    File:

    Plaintiff brought this action on June 3, 1999 claiming the Social Security Administration’s denial of supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was not supported by substantial evidence. (Compl., Doc. 1.) Plaintiff filed his motion for summary judgment on December 15, 1999. (Doc. 11.) Defendant filed its motion for summary judgment and a brief in support on February 14, 2000. (Doc. 14.) Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt filed his Report and Recommendation on August 15, 2000 recommending that Plaintiff’s motion be denied and Defendant’s motion be granted. (“R. & R.” or “Report”, Doc. 16.) Plaintiff timely filed objections to the Report, (Pl.’s Objections to the R. & R., Doc. 17) to which Defendant responded on September 11, 2000. (Def.’s Response to Pl.’s Objections to the R. & R. by the Magistrate Judge, Doc. 18.) Because I find that the determination of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) was inconsistent with settled law, the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge Blewitt will be adopted in part and not adopted in part.

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