Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus

Is your business registered to do business in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s decision in Drake Manufacturing Company, Inc. v. Polyflow, Inc., No. 959 WDA 2014 (Pa. Super., Jan. 23, 2015) is a stern reminder that foreign corporations doing business in Pennsylvania must register with the Commonwealth in order to bring suit. Read the rest of this entry »

NLRB Accelerates Timeline for Union Elections with New Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently published its highly-anticipated final rule governing procedures for union representation elections. The new “quickie” or “ambush” rule, which is scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2015, increases the burdens borne by employers leading up to an election, limits employers’ ability to challenge voter eligibility until after an election, and drastically reduces the timeframe between the filing of an election petition and the election from six (6) to eight (8) weeks to three (3) in most cases.

The following are major provisions of the new rule that employers should be aware of: Read the rest of this entry »

Direct Pay Insurance Proceeds May Result In a Non-Dischargeability Order

Did you know that medical expenses are one of the most significant contributing factors in deciding whether to file bankruptcy? Medical expenses are generally unsecured, and thus dischargeable in bankruptcy, which is why many people opt to file – to get out from under otherwise suffocating medical bills.

However, in a recent Middle District of Pennsylvania case, the debtor did not get the result she hoped for. In that case, insurance proceeds paid on account of medical services received by the debtor were mailed directly to the debtor from her insurance company. She cashed the checks and retained the proceeds for her own use. When she filed bankruptcy – expecting to be discharged of her medical expenses – the hospital/creditor sued the debtor arguing that she should not be discharged, based upon her fraudulent conversion of insurance proceeds meant to pay the creditor for the medical services it provided. Its rationale – based on Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code – was that the debtor assigned her right to the insurance proceeds over to the creditor at the time she received medical services. As a result, the insurance proceeds legally belonged to the creditor, regardless of the fact that they were paid to the debtor. The creditor also argued that the debtor was or should have been aware that the insurance proceeds were meant to pay for medical services. The debtor defended the lawsuit on the basis that because the checks were mailed to her, they belonged to her. Ultimately, the creditor prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment, rendering the debt not dischargeable.

The rise in direct-pay insurance policies and increasing bankruptcy filings make this Middle District case very relevant to medical providers who are hoping to get paid.

If you have any questions about this post, or any bankruptcy-related matters, please email me at rprice@nmmlaw.com.

 

Ollie Foucek – 2015 Community Partner Award Recipient

Congrats to Ollie Foucek for being the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber’s 2015 Community Partner Award Recipient!

Video by ASR Media Productions.

Pennsylvania Products Liability Law – The New Wild, Wild West

On November 19, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in the area of products liability in the case of Tincher v. Omega Flex. The Court’s opinion was so far reaching that both plaintiffs’ attorneys and defense counsel are calling it a victory for their side of the products liability bar. Read the rest of this entry »

President Obama and Governor Wolf Propose Paid Sick Leave

During this week’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced a multi-pronged initiative aimed at giving paid sick leave to employees who currently do not receive it. Most notably, the president called on Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act (“HFA”), which was first introduced in 2009. The HFA would require all businesses with fifteen (15) or more employees to provide up to fifty-six (56) hours of paid sick leave per year — to be accrued at a rate of one (1) hour for every thirty (30) hours worked — to obtain preventative care, care for themselves, or care for a sick family member. Read the rest of this entry »

Pennsylvania Breweries Closer to On-Premises Sales

Over the weekend, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (“IRRC”) issued comments to several pending proposed regulations, including the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (“Pa.L.C.B.”) proposed regulatory changes to Section 3.93 of its regulations relating to breweries.  The Pa.L.C.B. amended its regulation that would permit breweries to sell brewed and malt beverages for on-premises consumption if the malt or brewed beverages were produced on the licensed premises by the brewery.  The Brewers of Pennsylvania, which is the group formed by Pennsylvania breweries to support its industry members, issued a comment to this proposed regulation after it was published by the Pa.L.C.B.  Through its General Counsel, the author of this blog, Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire, the Brewers of Pennsylvania pointed out that language being proposed by the Pa.L.C.B. was contrary to Pennsylvania law, Board regulations, and Board Advisory Opinions.  Specifically, the Brewers of Pennsylvania pointed to Section 446(a)(1) of the Liquor Code, 47 P.S. § 4-446(a)(1) which provided that breweries could sell malt or brewed beverages produced and owned by the brewery.  The IRRC agreed with the Brewers of Pennsylvania and directed the Board to amend the final-form rulemaking to be consistent with the Liquor Code.  While the difference in language seems slight, it is critical to breweries operating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Many breweries transfer products among other brewery locations and being able to conduct on-premises sales of beer which a brewery may have produced at another brewery, as opposed to restricting beer sales to only beer produced at the brewery location, is significant and reduces any confusion in the application of the law and enforcement. Read the rest of this entry »

In Good Spirits: A Bethlehem CRIZ Update at the Social Still Micro-Distillery

We are a proud sponsor of the upcoming Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Council event, ” In Good Spirits: A Bethlehem CRIZ Update at the Social Still Micro-Distillery,” from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 10  This event, the YPC’s fourth installment in their popular Downtown Revitalization Series, showcases South Side Bethlehem’s first completed CRIZ project, The Social Still Micro-Distillery & Kitchen located at 530 East 3rd  Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Rob DeBeer of BethWorks Now and others will provide captivating insights as to the upcoming projects that will take advantage of Bethlehem’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone. Attendees will be the first to hear how the CRIZ is accomplishing what it was designed to do: developing new construction, putting vacant buildings back on the tax rolls, and growing jobs in the Lehigh Valley.

Pennsylvania Employers Prepare for 2015

Now that a new year is upon is, it is as important as ever for employers to ready their businesses for the year ahead. Below are some key employment and labor law items that Pennsylvania employers should consider as we enter 2015: Read the rest of this entry »

New Beer Delivery Options for Pennsylvania Consumers

On December 5, 2014, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board issued an advisory opinion which authorized retail licensees which have Transporter-For-Hire licenses to deliver beer to their customers.  Prior to this recent opinion, the delivery of beer to customers was not permitted with a retail license.  Now, Pennsylvania retail liquor licensees including restaurants, grocery stores, pizza shops, and other establishments can deliver beer to their customers if they apply for and obtain a Transporter-For-Hire license under certain circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »