Eastern District of Pennsylvania Recognizes Split in Authority Regarding Whether a Claim-By-Claim Analysis Under the PLCAA is Warranted

bullets-1556142_960_720Today, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania addressed the proper interpretation of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and the exceptions contained therein.  In Ramos v. Wal-Mart Stores, No. 516-cv-00304, District Judge Joseph Leeson specifically recognized a split in authority regarding whether a claim-by-claim analysis under the PLCAA is warranted.  Judge Leeson focused on the Act’s use of the term “action” as opposed to “claim” when assessing whether a plaintiff only needs to meet one of the exceptions to the Act in order to avoid PLCAA immunity.  While Judge Leeson did not reach a decision on the issue, his opinion identifies a split in authority and clearly invites future plaintiffs to argue that general negligence or nuisance claims can survive so long as any exception to the Act is met. Read the rest of this entry »


District of New Jersey Denies Summary Judgment Despite the Liquid Spilling Four Minutes Before the Fall

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On March 10, 2016, the District of New Jersey addressed the mode of operation doctrine and issues related to constructive notice.  In Romeo v. Harrah’s Atlantic City Propco, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31456 (D.N.J. March 10, 2016), the plaintiff fell on a liquid in a common walkway at a casino.  A surveillance video showed a patron spilling his beverage on the floor and then four minutes later, the plaintiff slipped.  The casino employees also inspect the location where the plaintiff fell every thirty to forty minutes.  The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that it did not have constructive notice of the dangerous condition.

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Second Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of NY and Connecticut’s Assault Weapons Bans

On October 19, 2015, the Second Circuit issued an opinion regarding the constitutionality of the SAFE Act/Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention  legislation in New York and Connecticut, upholding the lower court’s decision that a seven round magazine limit was arbitrary but otherwise affirming the constitutionality of the legislation. Read the rest of this entry »


New Jersey Appellate Division Holds That a Defendant is Only Required to Produce Surveillance Evidence After the Plaintiff Has Been Deposed

On September 3, 2015, the New Jersey Appellate Division reiterated the notion that trial courts should take a balanced approach when it comes to the discoverability of surveillance evidence obtained for purposes of litigation.

surveillance-152097_1280 (2)In Mernick v. McCutchen, the Appellate Division was tasked with assessing whether surveillance videos of a plaintiff were protected from discovery due to the work product doctrine. The plaintiff was injured in a car accident, and after the plaintiff filed her lawsuit, the defendants took surveillance videos of the purportedly injured plaintiff.  In their discovery responses, the defendants acknowledged that they possessed the surveillance videos but refused to produce the videos until after the plaintiff had been deposed. As a result, the plaintiff’s counsel refused to produce his client for deposition until the videos were provided. Read the rest of this entry »


Bronx County Judge Dismisses Sleeping Fan’s Defamation Lawsuit Against ESPN and Yankees

baseball-229873_1280 (2)Everyone should remember the story of Andrew Rector, the fan who was shown sleeping on camera during the Yankee-Red Sox Sunday night game on ESPN in April 2014, and subsequently sued everyone (Major League Baseball, ESPN New York, the Yankees, Dan Shulman, and John Kruk) for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  As previously noted, Mr. Rector’s lawsuit  did not appear to be legally viable because none of the comments made by the announcers (Shulman and Kruk) were extreme and outrageous and because many of the alleged defamatory statements originated from third-parties (on various websites, blogs, etc.).

On August 20, 2015, Justice Julia I. Rodriguez in the Bronx County Supreme Court granted the defendants’ motions and dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety.  A copy of the decision can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »


New Class Action Lawsuit Alleges That Keyless Ignition is “Dangerous and Defective”

start-83084_1280 (2)According to Edmunds.com, over seventy-two percent of the cars and trucks sold during 2014 came equipped with a push button ignition switch (either as a standard feature or an option).  The keyless ignition system allows a driver to start and stop a car by pressing a button while an electronic key fob is in the vicinity of the vehicle.

Aside from freeing up space in an automobile and providing additional convenience, the keyless ignition systems are considered to have additional advantages over conventional ignition switch with a key.  Recent recalls by General Motors and injury claims have demonstrated that keys can be jostled out of position (for example, due to the weight of other objects on the key chain or a driver inadvertently hitting the key while shifting), which may result in the engine shutting off.  Presumably, a keyless ignition would alleviate any concerns about unintentionally turning off a car. Read the rest of this entry »


NJ Appellate Division: Charitable Immunity Unavailable When a Plaintiff is on Premises as an Employee of a Third Party

The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a community college employee who was injured in a slip-and-fall at a nonprofit rehabilitation facility where she taught classes to nurses was not a beneficiary of the clinic’s charity and could not rely on the Charitable Immunity Act for a defense.   In Kostera v. Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, Dkt. No. A-1991-13T4 (N.J. App. Div. Aug 6, 2015), the Appellate Division also affirmed the $4 million jury award. Read the rest of this entry »