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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 James M. Munley

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.

Plaintiff filed applications for DIB on April 12, 1996, and protectively filed her application for SSI on October 29, 1996. Record (hereinafter “R.”) 66-69, 228-31. In those applications the plaintiff alleged an inability to work since April 3, 1995 due to seizures, depression, and pain and swelling in her right leg.1 Initially and upon a motion for reconsideration, the claim was denied and eventually came before an administrative law judge (hereinafter “ALJ”) on May 22, 1997. R. 45, 46-49, 52-54 Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the hearing.

Before the court for disposition is an appeal from the Bankruptcy Court which calls upon us to determine the correct valuation method for a piece of real estate located in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. The appellant is the United States of America, and the appellees/debtors of the bankruptcy are Joseph A. and Phyliss G. Donato.

This case arises out of plaintiff’s termination from her position as Code Enforcement Administrator of Pittston City on April 14, 1998. Plaintiff claims that she was terminated without benefit of notice, hearing, or court adjudication.

In April of 1997, Defendants Michael Lombardo, Thom as McFadden, and Philip Campenni ran in the democratic primary for positions of Mayor and Councilmen, respectively, and were elected to those positions in November of 1997. Ms. Bradbury’s political affiliation was different from the defendants’ and she participated in the campaigns of their opponents. In early 1998, it was determined that, due to budgetary concerns, it would be necessary to eliminate certain positions and redistribute job responsibilities. At that point, the plaintiff’s position was terminated without notice or hearing. It is agreed that the termination did not occur “for cause,” as there were no complaints regarding the job performance of the plaintiff .

 

The instant case involves a breach of contract claim and bad faith claim arising from an automobile accident. The case was removed to this court on December 29, 1998. On September 21, 1999 , Michael J. McDonald was appointed as a Master to resolve certain discovery issues. On May 31, 2000, the Master filed his recommendation with the court. An order was issued by this court on June 2, 2000, informing the parties that they would be allowed ten days in which to file any written objections. On June 20, 2000, the defendant filed its objections to the recommendation. On June 20, 2000, the court also received a letter from the plaintiff’s counsel, stating that he had no objections to the Master’s recommendation and urging the court to adopt the Master’s report.

Judge William W. Caldwell

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.

Arthur Snead has filed a counseled petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He challenges the 1990 sentence imposed on him in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for conspiracy to commit bank robbery, the substantive offense of bank robbery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The petitioner received a life sentence on the last conviction.

Pending is a second motion for summary judgment in this action arising from Defendants’ alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601-54. On May 24, 2000, we granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claim that her employer, Vanguard Cellular Systems, retaliated against her for asserting her FMLA rights.

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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