Lawsuit

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

A young girl seriously injured after a 2015 high-speed chase with police ended in a head-on collision is suing the city of Pittsburgh and the Port Authority Transit of Allegheny County, alleging the chase never should have happened.

Allegheny County Fines U.S. Steel $1M For Clairton Coke Works Air Pollution

Jul 2, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Allegheny County Health Department hit US Steel with a $1 million fine for chronic air pollution from the company’s Clairton Coke Works.

The fine was the largest the department has leveled against Clairton Coke Works in the past 10 years, and the second largest to any facility in that time period, said spokesman Ryan Scarpino.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Ohio's voter registration law in a 5-4 ruling Monday that loosens restrictions on how and when the state can purge its voter rolls. Proponents of the law argue it keeps their record books cleaner, while voting rights activists argue it punishes registered voters for not exercising that right, and disproportionally removes minority and Democratic names.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Activists in other states are looking to Pennsylvania’s redistricting case as they attempt to get their own congressional districts overturned.

In particular, lawyers involved in an Ohio case say their situation has a lot in common with the one in the commonwealth.

The Ohio lawsuit differs from Pennsylvania’s in that it’s a federal matter, not a state one.

But attorney Freda Levenson, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said a lot of the principles underlying the situations are the same—and that means the successful PA suit is a learning opportunity.

Firms Sued Over Incinerator Deal That Left Harrisburg Broke

May 23, 2018
Carolyn Kaster / AP

A lawsuit filed Monday blames lawyers, engineers and financial experts for a Harrisburg trash incinerator project that nearly bankrupted the city, calling it "the worst municipal financial disaster" in Pennsylvania history.

The state and the city on Monday sued four law firms, two financial entities and an engineering company for their roles in the project that drove the city into state receivership and triggered a budget crisis that is still playing out.

Matt Rourke / AP

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati may not have to pay more than $29,000 out of pocket for legal fees in a redistricting case.

At least, not yet.

A federal judge has put a hold on the order he made after deeming the GOP lawmaker’s actions in the case frivolous.

The case in question was initially brought to the Commonwealth Court last summer by the League of Women Voters, who argued the state congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Markus Schreiber / AP

Pittsburgh-based pharmaceutical company Bayer is being sued for allegedly fraudulently marketing a birth control device that some women say has caused them significant harm.

Toby Talbot / AP

With more than 650 drug fatalities in 2017, Allegheny County broke the record for fatal overdoses set the previous year, which in turn broke the record established in 2015.

Federal Judges Reject Lawsuit Over Pennsylvania District Map

Mar 19, 2018
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A panel of federal judges on Monday dismissed a legal challenge by Republican congressmen to a district map imposed last month by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The decision does not end litigation over the matter, but it makes it much more likely that this year's congressional elections in Pennsylvania will be conducted under district lines widely viewed as more favorable to Democrats than a 2011 map the state court threw out in January.

(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

Federal judges are letting voters who successfully challenged Pennsylvania's congressional district map fight a lawsuit by eight Republican congressmen seeking to overturn the decision.

The judges granted a request Thursday by the 18 voters to join the lawsuit as defendants, along with two senior state elections officials under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

The decision came during a session to sort out issues ahead of a hearing next week.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A Pennsylvania family has filed a lawsuit against Pittsburgh Steelers football safety Sean Davis, claiming he posted a video on social media mocking their teenage son.

Bill Sikes / AP

Health insurer Aetna has agreed to pay $17 million to settle claims that it breached the privacy of thousands of customers who take HIV medications.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs announced the settlement Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Court documents say the Hartford, Connecticut-based company sent a mailing in envelopes with large, clear display windows that revealed confidential HIV information. The mailing was sent to about 12,000 customers in at least 23 states.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Philadelphia has filed a lawsuit against drug companies that make prescription opioids, saying they've created "an unprecedented public health crisis."

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

A state judge has allowed a lawsuit over budgeting practices to proceed.

The suit alleges top elected officials have violated the Pennsylvania constitution in the last two years by passing budgets without fully funding them, and borrowing money to pay off a previous year’s debt.

Two years ago, a spending plan passed just after the June deadline, but it took lawmakers weeks to finalize how to pay for it.

The situation reoccurred last year, with the deadlock stretching four months.

Penn State Still Fighting 2 Sandusky Abuse Claim Lawsuits

Dec 1, 2017
Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State has already paid over $100 million to settle sex abuse claims against Jerry Sandusky, but it's still fighting two lawsuits with similar allegations.

A judge recently scheduled one case for trial in Philadelphia in February.

In both cases, men allege that as teens they were fondled by the ex-assistant football coach during the mid-2000s.

They accuse Penn State of negligence in its handling of complaints about Sandusky years before they say they were groped.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

State lawmakers are running into legal issues over a component of the budget plan they passed last month.

Some $200 million of the plan is slated to be appropriated from a group that insures healthcare providers against malpractice claims.

However, the group has sued to keep that money.

The state established the Joint Underwriting Association in the 1970s, so lawmakers say they have the authority to appropriate its funds as needed.

But the JUA contends its money are private, because it comes from investments and premiums from policyholders.

Justices Order Pennsylvania Redistricting Lawsuit To Proceed

Nov 10, 2017
Googlemaps

A state-level challenge to how congressional districts were drawn by Republicans six years ago will proceed on a compressed schedule, a closely divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The Supreme Court's 4-3 decision overturned a lower court judge's ruling last month that had put the dispute on hold.

Min Xian / WPSU

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to put on ice a federal lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's congressional districts approved after the 2010 census.

Lawsuits Around Climate Change Are On The Rise

Oct 12, 2017
Matt Wade / flickr

 

This week the Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s repealing the Clean Power Plan. That’s the Obama era rule to cut carbon emissions from power plants in order to fight climate change. The Clean Power Plan never took effect because more than two dozen states sued, arguing the EPA overstepped its legal authority. The Supreme Court had been looking into those claims.

PA Court Weighs Delaying Gerrymander Lawsuit Similar To Case Before US Supreme Court

Oct 6, 2017
Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pelligrini heard arguments Wednesday over whether to stay a lawsuit over the state’s congressional district map until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar case out of Wisconsin.

Chicago Police Department / AP

Police misconduct can do a lot of damage -- inciting fear or upsetting the public trust that officers need to do their jobs, especially when their actions affect primarily people of color.

Those Challenging Fairness Of PA School Funding Will Have Day In Court

Oct 2, 2017
Brad Larrison for NewsWorks, file

In a decision that could eventually shake Pennsylvania's educational landscape, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a lawsuit challenging the commonwealth's public school funding system can move forward.

The court did not compel the state Legislature to redistribute money — not yet. It simply said the judiciary can consider whether legislators have satisfied clauses in the state Constitution that require Pennsylvania to provide equal protection under the law and a "thorough and efficient system of public education."

Cabot Oil Files $5M Suit Against PA Resident, Lawyers

Aug 9, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP, file

A gas driller that was targeted with allegations that it polluted residential water wells in Pennsylvania has filed a $5 million lawsuit against a Pennsylvania resident and his lawyers, asserting they tried to extort the company through a frivolous lawsuit.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. said Dimock resident Ray Kemble and his lawyers sought to harass and extort the Houston-based driller, attract media attention and "poison" the community by recycling "stale, settled claims" against the company.

Daveynin / Flickr

Penn State University is suing former assistant football coach Bob Shoop for breach of contract, alleging he owes the university nearly $900,000.

According to the lawsuit filed in June, Shoop was required by contract to pay the university half his base salary for any remaining term if he decided to leave early. He was contracted through February 2018, but Shoop resigned in January 2016 to become defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee.

Penn State is seeking $891,000 with additional interest and court costs.

Lawyer: Penn State Not To Blame For Ex-Coach Not Getting Job

Oct 17, 2016
Gene J. Puskar / AP

 

It's not Penn State's fault that a former assistant football coach who reported Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy 15 years ago can't find a new coaching job, a lawyer for the university said Monday.

Nancy Conrad said during opening statements in Mike McQueary's defamation and whistleblower lawsuit that because he spent his entire career at Penn State, he hasn't developed the network of contacts needed to find a new position.

Nonbelievers Sue Over Pennsylvania House's Opening Prayers

Aug 25, 2016
Ken Marshall / Flickr

A group of people who don't believe in God are challenging the way prayers are handled before sessions of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Harrisburg federal court says nonbelievers are treated like a disfavored minority who can be discriminated against, and that House officials denied their requests to make an opening invocation.

Five people and three organizations are suing House Speaker Mike Turzai, the parliamentarian and five lawmakers.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

  A judge has ruled that a foul ball lawsuit can continue against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball and a municipal authority that owns public sports and entertainment venues in the area.

An usher at PNC Park in April helped Wendy Camlin to her seat when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate and struck her in the head.

The game was delayed more than 20 minutes while she was taken away on a stretcher.

Raymond "Dmitri" Beljan / Flickr

 

Carnegie Mellon University will receive a $750 million settlement stemming from a patent infringement lawsuit against a Bermuda-based technology company that allegedly used a CMU professor’s data retrieval algorithms without permission.

Judge Tosses Pittsburgh Woman's Defamation Suit Vs. Cosby

Jan 21, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

 

A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by a Pittsburgh-area woman who claims Bill Cosby defamed her when he and his representatives responded to allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted her and other women.

Thursday's decision dismisses the October lawsuit filed by 48-year-old Renita Hill with prejudice. That means she cannot try to amend and re-file the lawsuit.

Asylum Projects

Defendants ordered to receive treatment before they can stand trial are waiting up to a year to be admitted at one of the two state hospitals. 

A class-action lawsuit against the commonwealth from the American Civil Liberties Union's Pennsylvania office alleges that wait time is unconstitutional.

Torrance State Hospital near Pittsburgh and Norristown State Hospital near Philadelphia are perpetually full, often requiring defendants deemed unfit to stand trial sit in jail until vacancies arise.

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