U.S. Third Circuit: December 2009 Archives
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December 2009 Archives

Vallies v. Sky Bank, No. 08-4160

In a putative class action against a bank claiming violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure requirements involving loans to finance motor vehicles, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant-bank is affirmed as, a showing of detrimental reliance is required to recover actual damages for a TILA disclosure violation, and here, plaintiff neither pled nor made such a showing.   

Read Vallies v. Sky Bank, No. 08-4160

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 23, 2009

Judges

Before: Scirica, Chief Judge, Rendell and Aldisert, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Chief Judge Scirica

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Erin M. Brady, Malakodff & Brady PC

For Appellee:  Martin C. Bryce, Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP

In re WR Grace & Co., No. 08-3697

Judgment of the bankruptcy court and the district court that subject matter jurisdiction does not exist to expand the section 105(a) injunction to include the Montana actions, in a case involving asbestos litigation against a mining company who had sought Chapter 11 protection and against the State of Montana  is affirmed as, federal bankruptcy court does not have related-to-jurisdiction over a third-party lawsuit if that lawsuit would affect the bankruptcy proceeding only through the intervention of yet another lawsuit.   

Read In re WR Grace & Co., No. 08-3697

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Delaware

Opinion Filed December 31, 2009

Judges

Before:Barry, Fisher, and Jordan, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Jordan

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Christopher Landau, Kirkland & Ellis; Francis A. Monaco, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice

For Appellee:  Daniel C. Cohen, Cohen Whitesell & Goldberg

Kach v. Hose, No. 08-3921

In plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action against a former middle school security guard, whom she had run away with when she was fourteen years old and had been living with until the law enforcement authorities' discovery, various other individuals and her former middle school, district court's dismissal of all of plaintiff's claims is affirmed where: 1) summary judgment on statute of limitation grounds is affirmed as plaintiff forewent her right to relief in federal court by waiting too long to assert her rights; 2) summary judgment for the former security guard is affirmed as he was not acting under color of law; and 3) district court's dismissal of plaintiff's state law claims are affirmed.     

Read Kach v. Hose, No. 08-3921

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 23, 2009

Judges

Before: Smith, Fisher, and Nygaard, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Fisher

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Lawrence H. Fisher, Collin & Willwerth

For Appellee:  P. Brennan Hart, Jeanette Ho, Ronald R. Lucas

Wilson v. Beard, No. 06-9004

District court's decision to grant defendant's request for habeas relief and to vacate his capital murder conviction concluding that a Brady violation had occurred is affirmed as, in light of the importance of the testimony of three witnesses and the significant impeachment value of the undisclosed information, defendant's right to due process, as set forth in Brady, was violated by the Commonwealth's failure to disclose the information. 

Read Wilson v. Beard, No. 06-9004

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 23, 2009

Judges

Before:  McKee, Chagares, and Roth, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Roth

Counsel:

For Appellant: Lynne Abraham, District Attorney, David Curtis Glebe, Assistant District Attorney

For Appellee:  Maureen Kearney Rowley, Chief Federal Defender, Michael Wiseman

Smith v. City of Allentown, No. 09-1998

In plaintiff's suit against a city and its mayor claiming discrimination based upon his age and political affiliation after he was discharged as a city superintendent (he had been appointed by a former Republican mayor), summary judgment in favor of the defendants is affirmed as plaintiff failed to produce evidence that his allegedly inadequate job performance was a pretext for unlawful discrimination of any kind.  

Read Smith v. City of Allentown, No. 09-1998

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Jordan and Cowen, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Jordan

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Richard J. Orloski

For Appellee:   Edward J. Easterly, George C. Hlavac, Steven E. Hoffman, Tallman Hudders & Sorrentino

Deweese v. Nat'l RR Passenger Corp., No. 09-1569

In a dispute arising from an accident in which a passenger was struck by an Amtrak train which resulted in a settlement with the passenger, but leaving unresolved one party's cross-claim for contractual indemnity, summary judgment for Amtrak on its cross-claim against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is affirmed as, SEPTA's state-law sovereign immunity defense is preempted by Amtrak's federal enabling statute and therefore, the indemnity contract between SEPTA and Amtrak is enforceable.  

Read Deweese v. Nat'l RR Passenger Corp., No. 09-1569

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Jordan and Greenberg, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge Jordan

Counsel:

For Appellant: Thomas S. Biemer, Matthew A. Foley, Dilworth Paxon

For Appellee:   William G. Ballaine, Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford

In re: 15375 Memorial Corp., No. 09-1391

In Chapter 11 proceedings filed by two companies involved in oil and gas explorations, district court's order dismissing the bankruptcy petitions for lack of good faith is affirmed as there is ample evidence supporting the finding of the court that the debtors' bankruptcy petitions served no valid bankruptcy purpose and were used primarily as a litigation tactic to protect debtors and their parent companies from liability in pending litigation.  

Read In re: 15375 Memorial Corp., No. 09-1391

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware

Opinion Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Sloviter, Fuentes, and Smith, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Smith

Counsel:

For Appellant:  John D. Demmy, Stevens & Lee; Gregory W. Werkheiser, Norris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

For Appellee:   Philip G. Eisenberg, Kevin J. Mangan

In re: Plassein Int'l Corp., No. 08-2616

In an adversary proceeding brought by the trustee of a corporation and the subsidiaries it had acquired in related leveraged buy-outs, seeking to recover payments the shareholders of the acquired corporations had received for their shares on the grounds that the payments to them had been fraudulent transfers avoidable under Delaware law and the Bankruptcy Code, grant of shareholders' motion to dismiss is affirmed as, in accordance with prior case law, the payments were exempt settlement payments under section 546(e). 

Read In re: Plassein Int'l Corp., No. 08-2616

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the  District of Delaware

Opinion Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Scirica, Chief Judge, Jordan and Greenberg, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Greenberg

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Charles R. Bennett, Hannity & King; Kevin S. Mann, Christopher P. Simon, Cross & Simon

For Appellee:  William P. Bowden, Ashbty & Geddes; Mark C. Fleming, WIlliam Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr;   Gabriel R. MacConaill, Potter Anderson & Corroon

In Re: Schering Plough Corp. ERISA Litig. , No. 08-4814

In a class action suit against Schering-Plough Corporation and certain of its officers and directors under ERISA section 502(a)(2) arising out of the offering and management of an ERISA plan, district court's conclusion that a release signed by plaintiff-class representative in connection with her separation from the corporation violated ERISA and was therefore void, and an order certifying the class, is vacated and remanded where: 1) ERISA section 410(a) does not render plaintiff's individual release and covenant not to sue void against public policy, and the effect of her release, therefore, must be considered as the section extends only to contractual or other devices that purports to alter the statutory obligations of a fiduciary under ERISA, and not to reach a release of claims signed by an individual claiming the breach of a fiduciary duty; 2) plaintiff's release does not bar her from bringing the section 502(a)(2) claim on behalf of the Plan; 3) the district court must give further consideration to the interests of the members of the class, and the impact of the release and covenant not to sue, as bearing on plaintiff's ability to be an adequate class representative; and 4) district court erred in granting an open-ended class period.  

Read In Re: Schering Plough Corp. ERISA Litig. , No. 08-4814

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

Opinion Filed December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Rendell and Ambro, Circuit Judges, and McVerry, District Judge

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Rendell

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Eric C. Bossett, Covington & Burling; Douglas S. Eakeley, Lowenstein Sandler

For Appellee:  Peter H. LeVan, Jr. Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check

US v. Battis, No. 08-2949

In defendant's challenge to his conviction for attempted homicide and related offenses arising from a fight at a bar, judgment of the district court in concluding that there was no constitutional violation is reversed with instructions to dismiss the indictment and vacate the conviction as defendant's right to a speedy trial was violated as, the fourth Barker factor weighs against the Government as prejudice will be presumed when there is a forty-five month delay in bringing a defendant to trial.   

Read US v. Battis, No. 08-2949

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 14, 2009

Judges

Before:  Rendell and Ambro, Circuit Judges, and McVerry, District Judge

Opinion by Circuit Judge  Rendell

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Robert Epstein, Brett  G. Sweitzer, Defender Association of Philadelphia, Federal Court Division

For Appellee:   Bernadette A. McKeon, Mark S. Miller, Office of the United States Attorney

US v. Hoffa, No. 08-3920

District court's imposition of a 15-month term of imprisonment on each count of bank robbery and attempted robbery to be served concurrently is vacated and remanded for resentencing as the district court, believing it was acting in defendant's best interests because of his need of medical care, violated section 3582(a) in imposing a sentence of incarceration at the top of the Guidelines range. 

Read US v. Hoffa, No. 08-3920

Appellate Information

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Opinion Filed December 2, 2009

Judges

Before: Smith, Fisher and Stapleton, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Circuit Judge Stapleton

Counsel:

For Appellant:  Lisa B. Freeland, Federal Public Defender, Karen S. Gerlach, Assistant Federal Public Defender

For Appellee:  Mary Beth Buchanan, United States Attorney, Robert L. Eberhardt, Assistant US Attorney