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.

09/18/2001

  • 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.

08/28/2001

  • 3:99cv1788 CLIFFORD v. PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE CO. OF AMERICA
    File:

    The instant non-jury trial requires us to determine whether the plaintiffs are entitled to $75,000.00 o r $500,000.00 in underinsured motorist insurance coverage (hereinafter “UIM coverage”). The plaintiffs are Joseph Clifford and Joseph Clifford, Administrator of the Estate of Christopher Clifford (hereinafter “plaintiff”), and the defendant is Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Co. (hereinafter “defendant” or “Prudential”). This case was removed from the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas on October 12, 1999. The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to have the court reform the plaintiff’s insurance policy to provide UIM limits equal to the limits of the liability coverage. The parties agreed that the merits of the plaintiff’s complaint would be addressed at a nonjury trial. A trial was held on October 20, 2000, addressing the plaintiff’s declaratory judgment complaint. At that time, the parties formally presented their recommended stipulated facts and their respective legal theories.

08/20/2001

  • 3:CV-00-1300 BELITSKUS, et al. v. KIM PIZZINGRILLI, Secretary of State of Pennsylvania, et al.
    File:

    This case requires the court to determine whether a provision of the Pennsylvania Election Code providing for a mandatory filing fee is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The court holds that, as applied to candidates such as Plaintiff John Stith who are unable to pay the filing fee, the Pennsylvania law violates the Equal Protection Clause.

07/27/2001

  • 1:CR-01-71 USA v. FREDDIE SINKLER, JR.
    File:

    Before the Court is the Defendant’s “Pretrial Motion to Suppress Evidence” filed with the Court on May 7, 2001. Defendant seeks the suppression of evidence seized in connection with his January 7, 2001 arrest as violative of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Defendant’s motion has been briefed and an evidentiary hearing on the motion was held on July 19, 2001.

07/24/2001

  • 3:00cv1748 SERITTI v. MINERS MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, et al.
    File:

    The plaintiff in the instant case was employed by Miners from July 1994 until she was laid off in May 1998. Defendant Miners, a hospital, entered into a collective bargaining agreement (hereinafter “CBA”) with Defendant District Council, a labor union. While employed by Miners, plaintiff was a member of District Council.

    On October 31, 1996, Miners posted a vacancy for a registration clerk/switchboard operator position. Plaintiff Seritti bid on that position, but it was awarded to another employee. Plaintiff filed a grievance on November 13, 1996 alleging that Miners breached the CBA by appointing another employee to the open position. On November 20, 1996, Miners denied the grievance at Step 1 of the grievance/arbitration procedure set forth in the CBA. On December 3, 1996, Miners denied the grievance at Step 2 of the grievance procedure. On March 12, 1997, Miners denied the grievance at Step 3 of the grievance procedure. District Council informed Miners, by a letter dated April 23, 1997, that the union would proceed to arbitration on plaintiff’s grievance. District Council failed to process the grievance to an arbitrator.

07/19/2001

  • 1:CV-00-312 FIRST HEALTH GROUP CORP. v. NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION : (Judge Kane) ADMINISTRATORS, INC.
    File:

    Plaintiff First Health Group Corp. (“First Health”) initiated this diversity action against David W. Norton (“Norton”) and National Prescription Administrators, Inc. (“NPA”), by filing a complaint, motion for temporary restraining order, motion for preliminary injunction, and motion for expedited discovery on February 22, 2000. Plaintiff’s complaint alleges claims of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract, and tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage, against Norton and NPA, arising out of NPA’s successful 1999 bid to manage and administer Pennsylvania’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (“PACE”) program. Plaintiff’s claims against Norton arise out of his role as a former employee of First Health (and officer-in-charge of the PACE program) and his later role as a consultant to NPA in connection with the preparation of its successful 1999 bid to manage and administer the PACE program.

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