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Opinions

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

Judge Sylvia H. Rambo

The instant action seeks a declaratory judgment that certain provisions of Pennsylvania’s Milk Marketing Law, 31 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 700j-101, et seq. (“PMML”), and certain provisions of Official General Orders A-890A and A-900, (i) violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, and (ii) deprive Plaintiff of rights guaranteed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Additionally Plaintiff seeks to enjoin Defendants from enforcing the minimum milk prices fixed pursuant to Orders A-890A and A-900.

Judge James M. Munley

In June 1983, the plaintiff was hired as a warehouseman for A&P. In that position, plaintiff was a member of a collective bargaining unit and was represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 229. Plaintiff first requested and was granted a medical leave of absence from September 13, 199 3 through November 22, 1993. Plaintiff’s Transcript (herein after “Pl. Trans.”) 81. Th e defendant stated that the plaintiff provided medical documentation to justify the continued leave of absence . Id. at 83-84. Plaintiff was again granted a medical leave of absence from July 8, 1994 through October 17, 1994. Id. at 85-86. The plaintiff also provided A&P with medical documentation for that leave.
In November 1995, plaintiff requested and was granted a third leave of absence after a back injury at work . Id. at 89:14-19. The plaintiff’s treating physician, Dr. Teig Port, restricted the plaintiff to light duty as a result of the back injury. The plaintiff informed the defendants of this restriction by providing A &P with a note from Dr. Port. However, as there was no light duty work available, Defendant A&P granted the plaintiff a leave of absence, which was approved by Dr. Port through July 1, 1996. Dr. Port prepared a Medical Report Form in June 1996 that authorized the plaintiff to return to his regular duties on July 1, 1996. A&P received this form and then on June 28, 1996, the plaintiff telephoned A &P to confirm that he would return to work on July 1, 1996. Id. at 103-04.

The facts as alleged in plaintiffs’ complaint are a s follows: P laintiff Sup ervisor Tobin and Defendants Skrincosky and Skrobak all served together on the New Castle Township Board of Supervisors. Defendant Badamo was hired as a part-time police officer for New Castle Township in February 1999. Subsequently, the acting police chief resigned, leaving no one to supervise the day to day activities of the police department.

Defendants Skrincosky and Skrobak had developed feelings of animosity toward Supervisor Tobin and began to work against him in his efforts to better the township, in particular, his attempts to address the concerns and problems involving the police department and Defendant Badamo. They intentionally and maliciously prevented the hiring of any supervisory officer because of their desire to undermine the authority of Supervisor Tobin.

This case arises out of the issuance of umbrella liability insurance policies by the defendant to the plaintiff in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. The policies provided excess insurance coverage above the underlying medical malpractice coverage that plaintiff obtained through other sources.

In June 1998, plaintiff was sued by Ellen Thurston. Plaintiff sent notice of the action to defendant in July of 1999. In September 1999, a declination of coverage was issued by the defendant based on the revised terms and conditions contained in the 1998 renewal policy. Plaintiff brought suit involving the defendant’s actions in the renewal of the policies and its declination of coverage with respect to the Thurston claim. Plaintiff contends that the never provided any notice of the substantial and material revisions that it unilaterally made to plaintiff’s 1998 and 1999 policies. In fact, plaintiff alleges that the defendant never even provided a copy of the changed excess umbrella renewal policy to plaintiff until long after the inception date of the 1998 renewal policy. Consequently, plaintiff claims to be entitled to the same insurance coverage provided to it under its 1996 and 1997 policies.

Plaintiff brought an employment discrimination case against the defend ant. After a trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant. The defendant filed a bill of costs totaling $ 22,877.47, which it later amended to $24,346.12. Plaintiff filed objections to the defendant’s bill of costs and first amended bill of costs. Subsequently, the Clerk of Court taxed costs in the amount of $6,50 6.80 against the plaintiff. Plaintiff now appeals from this taxation of costs. In addition, the plaintiff has filed a motion for attorney’s fees and excess costs pursuant to 28 U .S.C. § 1927. W e shall address these two matters separately.

On June 5, 1997, the plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries when he slipped and fell at the Continental Plaza in Cancun, Mexico. The plaintiff alleges that he was a business invitee of the defendant and that he slipped and fell while crossing a foot bridge. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant was negligent, and argues that the accident occurred because of irregularities in the foot bridge and due to a lack of handrails on the bridge. Compl. ¶ 5. The defendant alleges that the defendant does no business in Pennsylvania, is not licensed to do business in Pennsylvania, has never issued a certificate of authority to do business as a foreign corporation in Pennsylvania, and does no advertising in Pennsylvania. The discovery did reveal that a Pennsylvania travel agency paid for and placed an advertisement in a Pennsylvania newspaper that mentioned the defendant.

Defendant Shamokin Area Community Hospital hired the plaintiff in May 1995 as a physical therapist. Plaintiff continued with this employment until March 1997 at which time she took a maternity leave. The leave lasted until September 1997, except for two days when she was reactivated for physical therapy work. Pl. Dep. at 196. When plaintiff began her leave, she was not notified of her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (hereinafter “FMLA”) in derogation of regulations promulgated by the Department of Labor.
Prior to her leave, defendant paid the plaintiff $44.00 an hour and she worked approximately twenty-four hours per week on average. When plaintiff sought to return to work in September 1997, she was told that the defendant did not need her services at that time, but might need them in the future.

On September 4, 1 997, shortly after her failed attempt to return to her employment, the plaintiff began a second leave of absence. The purpose of this second leave was to care for her seriously ill father. Plaintiff attempted to return to work on November 28, 1997, but the defendant informed her that no work was available that day. In January 1998, the defendant offered plaintiff a position working forty-five hours per pay period at $24.00 per hour. Plaintiff declined the offer as she saw it as a $20.00 pay decrease and different work from what she was performing previously.

Judge William W. Caldwell

In 1990, Michael Todd Brosius, then a member of the United States Army, was charged in a military court-martial with premeditated murder under Article 118, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), 10 U.S.C. § 918. He was convicted of unpremeditated murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, later reduced to seventy-five years. Brosius, an inmate at USP-Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

On April 19, 2000, Angel Moreno filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On July 21, 2000, the petition was transferred here.

Judge Yvette Kane

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.

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