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June 2015 Archives

A Question About Drunk Driving - Does The Valet Who Parks My Car Have a Duty To Withhold My Car Keys If He Or She Thinks I Am Intoxicated?

Well, the Pennsylvania Superior Court was asked this very question in a case of first impression, Moranko v. Downs Racing, PICS No. 15-0930. The answer was decided by an en banc panel 6-3 that ultimately held "No" a valet does not have a duty to withhold a patron's car keys even if he/she thinks the patron is too drunk to drive. In reaching its decision, the Court compared the situation between the patron and the valet to that of a bailor and bailee, the valet service being the bailee with a duty to relinquish control to the bailor once a demand is made. The Court explained that once the patron demanded his car the valet lost control of it despite the person being clearly too intoxicated to drive.

I fell On The Bus When The Driver Swerved - Can I Sue? Bus Accidents and the "Jerk And Jolt Doctrine" in Philadelphia - Just What Is It?

Have you ever been injured while riding in a bus? Or perhaps you know someone injured in a bus accident? Ever ride on a bus and the driver slams his/her brakes throwing you out of your seat and slamming you to the ground? Imagine falling, violently injuring yourself and then being told that you can't sue for personal injuries unless you can demonstrate that the jolt and jerk was "unusual" for a bus and not something a passenger could have reasonably anticipated.

The Two-Witness Rule to Lost Wills

Pennsylvania has long required the oath or affirmation of two witnesses to prove both the execution and the contents of a lost Will. The reasoning behind the "two witness" rule has always been to preserve the intent of the testator, or drafter of the will. But what happens when the two-witness rule works against the intent of the testator? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is currently grappling with this issue on appeal. The case, In Re: Estate of Wilner, 92 A.3d 1201 (Pa. Super. 2014), urged the Supreme Court to accept appeal and revisit the two-witness rule when the evidence at trial suggested that the intestate heir, who was not named in the will, destroyed the will to her benefit.

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