April 2018

Flying With Your Pet

When you are flying with your beloved dog or pet what are the airline’s responsibility to you? Surprisingly very little. Only the Safe Air Travel (Boris Bill) For Animals Act gives you some limited help. Maybe the best advice of all comes from the Humane Society of America. They caution travelers to only take dogs or pets on a flight if the pet is small enough to fit under the seat. They also caution owners to never put a pet in an overhead  bin. Hope it helps!

Medical Malpractice Cases

A Pennsylvania jury on March 6th awarded $6 million to the wife of a 65 year-old man who died of liver cancer. He died after his doctors disregarded 2 separate recommendations for MRIs by radiologists. Juries will award significant $$ to malpractice victims if you can show negligence on the part of the hospital or doctor involved. That is a big hurdle to overcome, but it can be done in the right case.

Important Info: Car Accidents And Workers Comp Liens-Your Car Or Your Company’s Car?

If you are in an auto accident while working, there is a big legal difference whether you are driving a company car/truck or your own car. Why? Because if you are in a company car and you make a claim for underinsurance, then any workers comp liens ($) the company pays for your medical or wage loss must be repaid to them. However, under the Warner decision, you do not have to repay your employer for your wages or medical bills if you are driving your own car on your own underinsurance policy. Confusing? I agree. But if you are in a car collision while working, just call us and we will walk you thru it!

Workers Comp-Abnormal Work Conditions-Mental Psychic Disability Claims

If an employee’s mental disability was caused by a psychological stimulus due to a work condition in an abnormal environment, the employee can receive workers compensation. Recently there was a case where an employee testified that he inhaled fumes from a diesel spill and claimed that was the abnormal working condition, justifying his compensation. However, the Court ruled against him because the symptoms only lasted for 1 day. Obviously those are tough cases. But the rule still remain the same: If you are hurt or injured at work, regardless of whether the employer is careless or negligent, you are entitled to your wages and payment of your medical bills. If you have any workers comp questions, please feel free to call me.

Bizarre Fact Situation – Premises Liability Law

A woman who startled a 73 year-old man by walking toward him while he was on a ladder cutting a tree limb can be sued. Legally the Court found her actions may have caused him to fall and break his ribs. The Pennsylvania Superior Court decided that based upon a case right here in Allegheny County! What do you think of this decision?

You Be The Judge-Criminal Law

Are criminal Grand Jury documents, including search warrants, open to the public under the 1st Amendment?

Surprisingly, not. The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled in a case of first impression that records pertaining to Grand Jury proceedings, including search warrants and related documentation issued in connection with those proceedings, are not open to the public. (Pennsylvania Law Weekly)

Legal Question #2

Can a police officer detain a person by asking the citizen their name and where they live? Also, if the citizen refuses to answer is the officer legally allowed to arrest him?

Answer: no. This is known in the law as a mere encounter. There is no need for any police suspicion in order to ask a citizen their name and address. However, if the person refuses to provide it and just walks away, the police officer cannot legally detain him. If the officer conducts an investigatory stop which could lead to an arrest, the officer must have some reasonable suspicion based on specific facts to believe that criminal activity is afoot.

How far do you think the Penguins will go in the playoffs? And what do you think of the Steelers off-season moves so far?

Personal Dept.-News From The Tully Clan:

1) I keep getting asked when am I going to retire? The answer is always the same dear readers. I am having too much fun at my job to retire! You are stuck with me for a long time! Lol

2) Finally, congratulations to my daughter Kathleen, who was accepted recently into several PhD programs in psychology. Way to go Katie!

Congratulations to Rita C. who won our $50.00 prize for answering last month’s question.

Now For Your Chance To Win $50.00: What is the national holiday we celebrate at the end of May?

Readers: We really do like you!

You keep me young!

Your attorney and friend,

Bernard M. Tully