Legal-opinions

PA Supreme Court Slams The Door Shut On Direct Lawsuits By Workers’ Compensation Insurers

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Chen v. Kamara (Hartford Ins. Grp. on Behalf of Chen v. Kamara, No. 24 EAP 2017, 2018 WL 6070474, Pa. Nov. 21, 2018), closed the door for workers’ compensation insurance carriers to file direct subrogation actions against liable third parties, regardless of how the complaint is captioned.  The Court […]

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Eliminates Future Credit for Medical Benefits in Workers’ Compensation Third Party Settlements

The recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision of Witmoyer v. WCAB (Mountain Country Meats) directly affects workers’ compensation insurers seeking to reduce their future liabilities by utilizing a time-honored practice of taking a future credit against medical benefits. In Whitmoyer, the Supreme Court held that an insurer’s right to a future credit on workers’ compensation payments […]

Implied Co-Insured Rule Rejected in Connecticut

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled in Amica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Muldowney, 328 Conn. 428 (2018), that a landlord may pursue claims against a tenant so long as the applicable lease holds the tenant liable for damage caused by the tenant and the lease requires the tenant to obtain liability insurance.  A prior case, […]

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Apply Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to Subrogated Insurers’ Mass Tort Case

The Ninth Circuit rejected an argument that CAFA required removal of a mass tort action brought by subrogated insurers against a product manufacturer to the federal district court. The case is Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. et al. v. EZ FLO Int’l, Inc. No. 17-56523, Slip Op. 9th Cir., Dec. 14, 2017. In this case, […]

Stutman Law Turns Back Attempt to Remove Mass Tort Action to Federal Court Under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)

After filing a mass tort action on behalf of 26 insurers in the San Bernardino Superior Court against EZ FLO International, Inc, a California manufacturer of water supply lines, EZ FLO attempted to remove the case to Federal Court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. EZ FLO alleged that the 145 individual insureds or subrogors referenced […]

Stutman Law Beats Arbitration and Forum Non Conveniens Allegations in Major Mass Tort Action

Stutman Law filed several mass tort litigations in Atlantic County, New Jersey, against the manufacturers and suppliers of DuraPro™ branded toilet connectors (“Toilet Connectors”), and after one litigation was removed to federal court, Stutman Law defeated motions to dismiss predicated on compulsory arbitration and forum non conveniens arguments. With respect to the motion for compulsory […]

Mass Tort Alert – Stutman Law Preparing Mass Tort Action Against Gree

On November 29, 2016, Gree expanded its 2013 dehumidifier recall, which now encompasses approximately 2.5 million dehumidifiers sold in the United States and Canada under brand names such as Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, and Danby.  Gree initially announced a recall involving dehumidifiers manufactured by Gree Electric Appliances of China on September 12, 2013.  Per the United […]

Stutman Law Beats City’s Governmental Immunity Defense in North Carolina

Stutman Law recently settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of its client against the City of Gastonia, North Carolina for $760,000.00.  Stutman Law’s client insured a historic building that was undergoing renovations when a fire service line froze and burst.  A few days after the initial break, warmer temperatures caused the frozen pipe to thaw, which […]

Getting Rid of a Thorn in the Side of Subrogation Professionals – PA Court Affirms That Workers’ Compensation Insurer Can Sue on Behalf of Injured Worker

On February 10, 2017, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in a published opinion captioned Hartford Insurance Group on Behalf of Chen v. Kamara, et al., 2017 Pa Super 31 (Feb. 10, 2017), that a workers’ compensation insurer can sue a responsible third party in the name of an injured worker to […]

Stutman Law Curbs Attempts to Expand Made Whole Doctrine in Pennsylvania

Stutman Law was successful in curbing an attempt to expand the made whole doctrine in Pennsylvania in a case that dates back to 2001. The recently decided case of  Prof’l. Flooring Co. v. Bushar Corp., 2016 WL 7105899, 2016 Pa. Super. 274, Dec. 6, 2016 relates to a catastrophic fire that destroyed the Continental Business […]

Fallen Tree Results in $800,000 Judgment and $329,000 Award of Attorney Fees and Costs Against City of Pasadena (NASP Subrogator Winter 2016 Issue)

In a ruling that could have potential significance for all California municipalities, after a 4-day bench trial, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin found the city of Pasadena liable in inverse condemnation for the catastrophic damage caused to a residence when a 110-foot tall Canary Island Pine tree fell through it during a severe […]

Stutman Law Files Mass Tort Actions Against Fluidmaster for 657 Claims Totaling More Than $20 Million

Stutman Law has filed mass tort actions in Federal and State court in California on behalf of 16 insurance carriers to recover on 657 claims totaling in excess of $20 million. Stutman Law’s mass tort unit identified two common defects involving Fluidmaster NO-BURST© supply lines: one causing failures of the supply lines’ plastic coupling nuts, […]

CA Supreme Court Rejects City of Pasadena’s Challenge to Inverse Condemnation Decision

The California Supreme Court denied a petition from the City of Pasadena to grant review of the landmark decision described below. In so doing the Court also rejected requests that the decision be depublished made by the City as well as by numerous other groups including the League of California Cities, the California Parks & […]

Stutman Law Obtains $710,000 Verdict Against Broan-Nutone

A federal court jury in Syracuse, NY determined that a bathroom exhaust fan manufactured by Broan-Nutone was defective and a caused a fire at a daycare center in Victor, New York.   Thomas Paolini and Thomas Underwood from Stutman Law’s New Jersey office tried the case. On September 17, 2009, a fire destroyed the Jack & […]

Update – Inverse Condemnation Settlement Occurs After Court of Appeals Denies City’s Petition

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two has issued a summary denial of a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the City of Hemet in a $750K inverse condemnation case following a ruling in Stutman Law’s favor on a motion for summary adjudication. At issue was whether Stutman Law’s novel theory that […]

Stutman Law Obtains Summary Judgment Against Power Utility in Case of First Impression (NASP Subrogator® Spring/Summer 2014 Issue)

In an issue of first impression for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Stutman Law obtained summary judgment in a subrogation action against a power utility alleging that the utility provided defective power to its customer causing equipment losses and a fire resulting in over $800,000 in losses. Click here to read the full article from […]

Stutman Law Obtains $2,202,541.55 Subrogation Jury Verdict Against Alarm Company in Georgia

After six days of trial, a jury found a defendant alarm company grossly negligent and found damages on behalf of Stutman Law’s clients in the amount of $2,202,541.55. The verdict is believed to be the largest subrogation verdict against an alarm company ever obtained in Georgia. Thomas Paolini and Michael Wallace from Stutman Law’s New […]

Stutman Law Recovers $300,000 On “Undetermined Fire” By Ruling Out All Causes Except Defendant’s Negligence

Stutman Law recovered $300,000.00 from an HVAC contractor for its clients in an undetermined fire which occurred on Kelleys Island, Ohio.The fire was exacerbated by an attic full of cellulose insulation and a delayed response by the all volunteer fire department. In fact, the damage caused by the fire was so significant that a number […]

Trial Court Adopts Theory Advocated by Stutman Law Extending Inverse Condemnation in California

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two has issued a summary denial of a Petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the City of Hemet in a $750K inverse condemnation case following a ruling in Stutman Law’s favor on a motion for summary adjudication. At issue was whether Stutman Law’s novel theory that […]

Appeal filed in Uponor Class Action

As we previously reported, the Stutman Firm was involved in the Uponor class action in the District of Minnesota (In re: Uponor, Inc., F1807 Plumbing Fittings Products Liability Litigation) in order to protect subrogated carriers’ rights. For ease of reference, Stutman’s first alert concerning the Uponor litigation can be found here. The lawsuit involved plumbing […]

Class action settlement threatens carriers’ subrogation rights

Settlement impacts past and future claims
The Stutman Firm has obtained a significant benefit for subrogated insurers in a class action lawsuit pending in the District of Minnesota captioned In re: Uponor, Inc., F1807 Plumbing Fittings Products Liability Litigation. The lawsuit concerns plumbing systems manufactured by Radiant Technology, Inc. and Uponor, Inc. (collectively, “RTI Defendants”) which […]