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Firm: Spilman Thomas & Battle,

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"Recent Developments in Federal Preemption of Pharmaceutical Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Claims"
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

   Few areas of law have proven more dynamic over the last few years than the interplay between state tort laws and the federal regulation of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. During its last two terms, the United States Supreme Court has issued three separate opinions addressing federal preemption of state law claims under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act...

"Twenty Years" is Actually "Six Years" for Contractors and Manufacturers in North Carolina
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, November 2013

This year the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion that effectively nullifies many construction warranties. In Christie v. Hartley Construction, Inc., et al., No. COA12-1385, the Court limited warranties for construction defects to six years, even when the contractor or product manufacturer expressly provides a longer one.     Plaintiffs George and Deborah Christie contracted for the construction of a custom home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 2004...

#MeToo Movement Creates Change in Tax Code
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, April 2018

During the height of the #MeToo movement and in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Congress enacted a sweeping tax reform bill containing a provision intended to penalize businesses who settle claims involving sexual harassment or sexual abuse if they include nondisclosure agreements as part of a settlement. As with many rushed pieces of legislation, legal commentators have more questions than answers about the practical effect of this tax amendment...

“Opening Up”: Don’t Forget About Resident Rights as you Reopen
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, May 2020

The curve has flattened, and all fifty states are at least partially reopened. This raises a number of questions about how your facility should proceed with reopening while continuing to protect not only your residents' health, but also their rights. Both failing to meet recommended guidelines and exceeding the guidelines can leave your facility vulnerable for future governmental action and lawsuits...

“Ruff” Days at the Office: Service Dogs (and Other Animals) in the Workplace
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

With everything from alpacas, pigs and turkeys, to even a snake being claimed as service animals, it is not surprising that many business owners are asking what truly qualifies as a “service animal” under the law. Just last fall, a Wisconsin McDonald’s encountered a situation where a patron wanted to dine with her service kangaroo...

“Waive” Goodbye to Employer Liability Under the ADA for Voluntary Accommodations of Essential Job Functions
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, May 2014

An employer faces a difficult situation when a temporarily disabled employee who cannot perform his or her essential job functions requests an accommodation. This situation becomes significantly more complicated when the employee receives the “accommodation,” but never recovers enough to resume performing the essential job functions...

“We Need a Four-O-What?” Clean Water Act Section 404 Permitting and O&G Development
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

With the spotlight recently cast upon it by the burgeoning Marcellus and other shale reserve developments, the oil and gas (“O&G”) industry has found itself increasingly the object of regulatory scrutiny. While the majority of commentary and new regulation has focused on the O&G industry’s fracking activities, the heightened regulatory attention has led to new levels of exposure in areas which the industry has traditionally not had extensive entanglement...

“We Need a Four-O-What?” Clean Water Act Section 404 Permitting and O&G Development
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, April 2012

With the spotlight recently cast upon it by the burgeoning Marcellus and other shale reserve developments, the oil and gas (“O&G”) industry has found itself increasingly the object of regulatory scrutiny...

2011 Year in Review and Look Ahead
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, January 2012

2011 saw steady increases of production throughout the Marcellus Shale play, a heavy emphasis on strengthening and expanding pipeline infrastructure, and a boom in the level of activity in the Utica Shale play...

2012 E-Verify Laws Update
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, June 2012

On May 26, 2011, in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America et al. v. Michael B. Whiting et al., 131 S.Ct. 1968 (2011), the Supreme Court of the United States upheld states’ rights to mandate use of the employment verification program (E-Verify) organized by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA)...

2012 Regular Session of the West Virginia Legislature – A Summary
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2012

In the 2012 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature, several resolutions were passed with potential future impact on the shale gas industry. Below is a summary of those significant resolutions. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 52 This resolution requests the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the viability of increasing severance tax rates on shale gas...

2017 and the West Virginia Legislature - The Year of the Employer
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, June 2017

The 2017 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature saw several changes in laws relevant to employers. Changes of interest to employers include the West Virginia Safer Workplace Act, Second Chance for Employment Act, West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, striking employees and unemployment benefits, Physicians Freedom of Practice Act, and bonds for wages and benefits...

2018 West Virginia Legislative Session, the WVCCPA and the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2018

The 2018 West Virginia legislative session was a busy one regarding consumer finance law. Legislators focused on the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act and the West Virginia Safe Mortgage Licensing Act. The West Virginia Legislature passed at least three bills this past session that affect consumers or financial transactions...

2019 Legislative Outlook for West Virginia: The Road Ahead *Revised January 9
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, January 2019

The next 60-day regular session of the West Virginia Legislature commences on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. While much of the nation seemed transfixed by the recent electoral changes, the most significant political change in the West Virginia Legislature actually preceded the 2018 general election. Indeed, the House of Delegates elected a new Speaker, Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay), in August 2018 to replace Tim Armstead who resigned to accept an appointment to the Supreme Court of Appeals...

2020 Pennsylvania Legislative Update
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, December 2020

The Pennsylvania General Assembly has concluded the legislative session. COVID-19 significantly changed the format and content of the legislative session. The operating rules were amended to permit remote voting, and the legislative focus centered on the impact of COVID-19 on schools, communities, businesses and the Pennsylvania budget for the FY 2020-2021. Below is a snapshot of some of the key areas addressed during this session...

24 Pennsylvania Counties Selected to Start the Reopening Process on May 8
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, May 2020

Governor Wolf announced that 24 Pennsylvania counties will move from the red phase to the yellow phase of the reopening plan beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 8. The 24 counties announced today are: Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, Venango and Warren...

3 Weeks Left: Is Your Business Ready for HIPAA Compliance?
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

The September 23, 2013 deadline for covered entities, business associates and their subcontractors to implement the new HIPAA rules is approaching quickly. In case you missed it, on January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued an omnibus final rule modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...

8 Important Things You Should Know About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, November 2013

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”) is federal legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or actual employees during hiring and employment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Act defines sexual orientation as “homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality...

A 2020 Pennsylvania Legislative Update
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, August 2020

When the 2019-2020 legislative session began, no one could have predicted what challenges Pennsylvania and the General Assembly would encounter with the outbreak of COVID-19. The rules changed to permit remote voting, and the plan for the session shifted to a focus on the response to COVID-19. The 12-month budget was replaced with a five-month budget to allow additional time to assess the financial damage...

A Boost for Entrepreneurs: Minority-, Women- and Veteran-owned Businesses
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

Recognizing that our country -- our “team,” if you will -- is stronger when all our players are on the field and playing to their full potential, our federal and some state governments have developed programs to help disadvantaged entrepreneurs get started on the path of business ownership. In the last issue of The Construct we talked about the Historically Underutilized Business (“HUBZone”) Program...

A Case to Watch: Brayman v. Westfield Insurance
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, May 2019

Pennsylvania law suggests construction defects generally are not considered an "occurrence" under most CGL insurance policies because defects are not true accidents, e.g., a fortuitous event. However, an exception generally exists for products-related claims as opposed to pure defect claims...

A Closer Look At Our “Friend” . . . The Guaranty
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2011

In its most basic form, the guaranty is an agreement (importantly it is the guarantor’s separate contract with lender) by one party to be responsible for the debt or obligations of someone else. We all know it and love it – it is the lender’s friend. But like so many friendships, when it is built on a fundamental misunderstanding or problem, a train wreck ensues and we feel the pain...

A Contentious Presidential Election, #BlackLivesMatter and Bathroom Laws: Addressing Polarizing Current Events in the Workplace
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

It is practically impossible these days to turn on the news, get on the internet or listen to the radio without hearing about some polarizing event. Whether it is a debate over the presidential candidates, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, or the legality of North Carolina’s HB-2 (dubbed the “Bathroom Bill”) or other similar state law, the American populace is being bombarded from all sides...

A Discussion with Dave Spigelmyer, President, Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC)
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

INTRODUCTION: Recently, Spilman's Director of Energy & Transportation Services, Scott Rotruck, interviewed David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC)...

A Full 180 -- The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals' New Position on Liability Insurance and Defective Workmanship
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, March 2017

Since 1965, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has consistently held that defective workmanship that caused bodily injury or property damage did not constitute an “occurrence” under a policy of commercial general liability insurance, and therefore the insurer was not obligated to pay for the damage or tender a defense. See McGann v. Hobbs Lumber Co., 150 W. Va. 364, 145 S.E.2d 476 (1965)...

 

 

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