Real Estate Awarded to Buyer

In the recent case of Oliver v. Ball, 136 A.3d 162 (Pa. Super. 2016), the Superior Court ruled in favor of a buyer when the seller backed out of the sale.

The buyer and seller agreed to the sale of a 71-acre parcel.  When the seller later refused to complete the sale, the buyer filed a lawsuit asking for a court order granting him the property, rather than an award of money damages.  The court explained that money damages are the typical remedy for a breach of contract, but there can be an award of “specific performance” where the contract involves a unique type of item that could not be adequately compensated with money.

The buyer argued that the value of this property could not be measured in dollars because he would not be able to develop another parcel in the same manner.  The court analyzed the details of the property – including its close proximity to the buyer’s other properties, the terrain, water features and mineral rights.  Based on these features, the court concluded that the buyer would not be adequately compensated through an award of money.  Therefore, the buyer was entitled to possession of the land.

If you are in need of assistance with a real estate transaction, please call our attorneys at 724-349-6768 for individual legal advice.

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New Pennsylvania Law Reduces No-Fault Divorce, Waiting Period to 1 Year

The waiting period for a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania has recently been reduced from two years to one year.  House Bill 380, which Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law on October 4, 2016 will go into effect on December 4, 2016.

This new law is not retroactive and does not impact divorces that are already filed and pending.   Continue reading

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Dangerous Pitfalls in Starting New Job

In the recent 2016 case of Wakeley v. M.J. Bruner, Inc., the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled against an employee who had been terminated shortly after starting a new job.

Katie Wakeley had been living in Texas, with her husband and child, where she had a stable job as a project manager for an advertising agency. Ms. Wakeley was approached by a Pittsburgh-based company, which offered her a job that paid a higher salary, plus relocation expenses.   Continue reading

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Wrongful Death of College Basketball Player

In the recent Superior Court case of Hill v. Slippery Rock University, a college basketball player collapsed during a late night high-intensity practice with his team. After being transported to the emergency room, he suffered cardiac arrest and passed away. It was then discovered that the victim suffered from a blood disease that had gone undetected during the preseason physical exam required by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”). The NCAA’s policy at that time only required blood testing for Division I athletes, whereas the victim played for a Division II school and did not undergo the testing. Continue reading

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New Changes to Pennsylvania Criminal Records

Pennsylvania Senate Bill No. 166 was signed into law on February 16, 2016, which seals certain criminal record information from public release. The change to the law allows a person who has been free from arrest or criminal charges for the last 10 years to file a Petition with the Court for limited access to their prior convictions. The new law only limits access to certain non-violent misdemeanors of the second and third degrees. Continue reading

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Important Decision When Buying Car Insurance

In the recent Pennsylvania case of Herrera v. Baum, Gregoria Herrera was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck from behind and suffered numerous back and knee injuries Ms. Herrera had a car insurance policy on which she elected “limited” rather than “full tort” coverage in order to reduce her premium costs. When she had renewed her coverage, Gregoria checked the boxes next to both tort options, creating an ambiguity. Continue reading

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Pennsylvania Dog Law

In the recent case of Wagner v. Teneyck, a Doberman got loose from its owner’s property and attacked a child in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, causing severe and permanent injuries. In most lawsuits based on negligence, the victim has to prove that the defendant failed to act with “reasonable care” under the circumstances. However, under the Pennsylvania Dog Law, if an owner does not keep his “dangerous” dog muzzled or confined, a dog owner may be liable regardless of whether he exercised reasonable care in confining the dog. A victim simply needs to show that the dog had a propensity to attack without provocation. Continue reading

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Black Lung Benefits Act

Thousands of individuals make their living by working in our region’s coal mines. Unfortunately, exposure to coal dust can cause significant breathing difficulties, including Black Lung disease (pneumoconiosis). The Black Lung Benefits Act provides monthly payments to miners and their surviving dependents in cases where coal dust exposure has caused a pulmonary disability. Continue reading

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Drivers Texting in PA Now Face Fines

Police officers will be increasingly on the lookout for distracted drivers, as Pennsylvania’s new law prohibiting texting while driving goes into effect on March 8, 2012. Continue reading

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PA Fair Share Act

On June 28, 2011, Governor Corbett signed SB113, the Fair Share Act (Act 17-2011) into law in Pennsylvania. The Fair Share Act significantly changes Pennsylvania law regarding joint and several liability in most tort actions, such as actions involving negligence. Continue reading

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