John O'Brien News

Case of fraternity hazing death in Poconos makes judges wonder if corporations can be banished from Pennsylvania

By John O'Brien | May 24, 2019

HARRISBURG – A fraternity has not convinced a Pennsylvania appellate court to order a new trial over the 2013 death of a freshman during a ritual known as “The Crossing” that took place in the Poconos, though the court has decided a ban on operating in the state went too far.

New lawyer files appeal in Lancaster chemical cases against AWI; Previous lawyer was DQ'd by judge

By John O'Brien | Apr 5, 2019

LANCASTER – The next chapter in long-running Lancaster litigation against Armstrong World Industries will ask whether it was fair for a judge to boot the plaintiffs’ lawyer off of their cases.

Rulings coming as Trump's DOJ fights Philadelphia-area lawyers it says wasted its time with baseless lawsuits

By John O'Brien | Apr 2, 2019

PHILADELPHIA – It’s now up to a pair of Philadelphia federal judges to decide whether the Trump Administration was right when it said private lawyers wasted more than 1,500 hours of its time with frivolous lawsuits.

From Legal Newsline

'Easy grandstanding': Congress backs trial lawyers' effort to condemn chemicals, win lawsuits while science debated

By John O'Brien | Mar 11, 2019

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – As Congress vilifies chemicals known as PFAS, some question whether the research upon which lawmakers – and trial lawyers – are relying shows that anyone has actually been harmed by them.

Pennsylvania opioid lawsuits are homeless while trial lawyers take shots at each other

By John O'Brien | Mar 6, 2019

Seven appeals and plenty of in-fighting have Pennsylvania counties behind schedule in their quest to hold dozens of companies liable for the nation's painkiller crisis

This Pennsylvania committee is proposing changes that benefit five of its members' law firms

By John O'Brien | Feb 20, 2019

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court committee is proposing a new rule that will help medical malpractice lawyers, but a look at the makeup of the committee shows five lawyers, including its chair, who work at firms that file medical malpractice cases.

Plaintiffs lawyers in Philly area representing clients that the DOJ says are wasting time filing meritless lawsuits

By John O'Brien | Jan 8, 2019

PHILADELPHIA – Three lawsuits in Philadelphia are part of an effort by plaintiffs lawyers and shell companies to abuse federal law while pursuing millions of dollars for whistleblowers, the U.S. Department of Justice is alleging.

Attack on paint industry spreads to Pennsylvania; Sherwin-Williams asks judge for help

By John O'Brien | Nov 1, 2018

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania will be the next battleground in historically hard-fought litigation over lead paint, as private lawyers seeking one-third of possible multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements are teaming with county officials on lawsuits.

Lawyer thrown off toxic chemical cases had client pay six-figure punishment

By John O'Brien | Sep 19, 2018

More than 30 lawsuits blame Armstrong World Industries, once Lancaster’s largest employer, for exposing workers to chemicals that led to sickness, suffering and death. But they’ve been pursued by a lawyer who, a judge says, “made a mockery of the law” and whose clients are paying, figuratively and literally, for his actions.

From Legal Newsline

Pittsburgh's hired guns move in on Philadelphia's turf as opioid lawyers jostle for power

By John O'Brien | Aug 29, 2018

The fighting in Pennsylvania among plaintiffs lawyers working on contingency fees has escalated this summer

Bern firm, shut out of opioid litigation spot, says lead lawyers don't represent enough of Pennsylvania

By John O'Brien | Jun 22, 2018

MEDIA – After not being picked to a coveted leadership role in Pennsylvania’s opioid litigation, a Conshohocken plaintiffs firm is pleading with a Delaware County judge to reconsider.

A dissident emerges in Pennsylvania's opioid litigation: Lehigh Co. claims its case has been highjacked

By John O'Brien | Jun 22, 2018

The fight for control of Pennsylvania’s opioid litigation is not over, as Lehigh County is not happy that its case has been grouped in with more than 30 others and that lawyers it previously rejected have been tasked with overseeing the proceedings.

Unbeaten at trial, Bayer and Janssen say cycle of Xarelto lawsuits 'needs to be stopped'

By John O'Brien | Jun 13, 2018

Early returns haven't been positive for plaintiffs attorneys, so Xarelto liability theories have been mutating, defense says

House action possible on bill limiting punitive damages against nursing homes to 2.5 times compensatory award

By John O'Brien | Jun 12, 2018

Legislation that limits punitive damages in verdicts against nursing homes could soon be discussed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

From Legal Newsline

No quit in trial bar after SCOTUS ruling, still filing lawsuits in favorite courts

By John O'Brien | Jun 4, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dealt a blow to forum-shopping personal injury attorneys, companies threatened with sprawling, 50-state litigation have not been forced into defending cases all over the country.

Plaintiffs firm represented whistleblower in secret to avoid paying referral fee from multimillion-dollar case, lawsuit claims

By John O'Brien | May 24, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A Texas personal injury law firm claims it is owed part of $16 million awarded to a corporate whistleblower because colleagues effectively poached the client and represented him in secret.

From Legal Newsline

State AGs united for #MeToo, but changing federal law could be slippery slope

By John O'Brien | Feb 24, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – State attorneys general are united in championing a new cause – abolishing clauses that require sexual harassment claims to be heard in arbitration. But would it set a bad precedent for changing federal law while scoring political points for its supporters?

From Legal Newsline

Litigation funder spending cash on political candidates like AGs of New York and Pennsylvania

By John O'Brien | Jan 4, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – Companies that fund lawsuits can find themselves in the crosshairs of state regulators, and a recent New York Post article revealed that one such business has given tens of thousands of dollars to one of the nation’s most important public officials – who happens to have sued a competing company.

Firm wants Carlson's millions from recent settlement; He hasn't worked there in 13 years, calls lawsuit 'absurd'

By John O'Brien | Aug 10, 2017

PITTSBURGH – The way his former firm sees it, prominent Western Pennsylvania plaintiffs attorney R. Bruce Carlson has essentially been working for it for the past 13 years as he litigated a long-running class action – even though he resigned in 2004.

Phoney Lawsuits: House subcommittee holds hearing on TCPA 'lawsuit abuse'

By John O'Brien | Jun 21, 2017

WASHINGTON - As courts are asked to provide guidance on the future of a federal telemarketing law that was written before the cell phone era, a House subcommittee is hearing suggestions on how to modernize it.

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