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Showing 4 posts in Uncategorized.

In September of 2011, we first posted about the case of Butler v. Estate of Powers in which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a Pennsylvania trial court decision holding that, under long-standing precedent, any grant of mineral rights that did not expressly include natural gas similarly did not include shale gas.  The Superior Court disagreed, relying on United States Steel Corp. v. Hoge, 468 A.2d 1380 (Pa. 1983)(Hoge II) which held that the party with the rights to coal also had rights to the coalbed gas contained in the coal.  Instead, the Superior Court remanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing on, in essence, whether shale gas is similar to coalbed gas and should be treated that way.  At the time we first discussed theButler case, we concluded: Read More »

MGKF’s Bridget Dorfman has written a short article, posted on our website, that identifies environmental issues businsses should be aware of as they clean up, resume operations, and repair/rebuild.  You can find it here and you can find Bridget at bdorfman@mgkflaw.com

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a short but important decision this week concerning the applicable statute of limitations under Pennsylvania law for an insurance carrier’s allegedly improper refusal to accept the defense of its insured.  Wiseman Oil Co., Inc. v. TIG Insurance Co., Civ. Action No. 011-1011 (W.D. Pa.), is an environmental insurance case brought against an insurer for breach of contract and bad faith for failure to defend a CERCLA action.  After answering the complaint, the defendant insurer filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that the action – filed in 2011 after the insured entered into a Consent Decree to resolve the underlying litigation – was time-barred because the insured’s claims accrued in 2004, when the insurer initially refused to provide the insured with a defense. Read More »

In a unanimous opinion that probably surprises no one, today the United States Supreme Court ruled in Sackett v. EPA, No. 10-1062 (Mar. 31, 2012), that Administrative Compliance Orders are final agency orders which are subject to the Administrative Procedures Act and thus can be appealed even in the absence of an enforcement action by the EPA. Read More »