Commercial General Liability

Legal solutions through a business lens

FMG's CGL Litigation Practice Group has substantial experience defending governmental and private entities, publicly traded corporations, individuals, and non-profit organizations in liability claims for bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) arising out of products, premises, operations and advertising, and personal injury liability.

FMG’s CGL Litigation Practice Group has substantial experience defending governmental and private entities, publicly traded corporations, individuals, and non-profit organizations in liability claims for bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) arising out of products, premises, operations and advertising, and personal injury liability. FMG’s lawyers handle claims both directly through an insured’s retained limit or self-insured retention (SIR) fund and also as national counsel for various insurance carriers.

Following are some of the more common claims that FMG’s CGL litigation practice group handles:

  • Construction/contractor negligence in performance of work;
  • Criminal conduct resulting in personal injury;
  • Premises liability litigation;
  • Product liability and toxic tort claims for defective design, warning and manufacturing;
  • Property and casualty claims;
  • Sexual assaults;
  • Slander and libel;
  • Slip and fall claims that result in personal injury or death;
  • Transportation and automobile liability;
  • Work site accidents; and
  • Wrongful and catastrophic death.

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Successes

An Eastern District of Pennsylvania judge has ruled that Tyson Foods, Inc. (“Tyson”) is immune from liability for claims asserted by the family of a supervisor at a Philadelphia meatpacking plant who died of complications from COVID-19. The claims were dismissed as the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (“PWCA”) is the exclusive remedy for job-related injuries. Although the Plaintiff argued only one entity could be immune under the PWCA, the court disagreed finding that Tyson, as a parent company exercising workplace control, was also immune from liability. Plaintiff alleged the meatpacking plant at which her deceased husband worked, was “owned, supervised, and controlled” by Tyson although he had been employed by Original Philly Holdings. She further claimed that Tyson’s COVID-19 safety measures were inadequate resulting in her husband’s exposure to COVID-19 and related death. She claimed Tyson could not be considered an employer under the PWCA because the Act only allows for one entity to be deemed an “employer” under the Act.
The Court rejected Plaintiff’s contention noting that Pennsylvania courts have explicitly held that an employee may have more than one employer for purposes of the Act. The critical issue for purposes of immunity is whether the entity has the right to control and direct the method and manner of work employees perform. Plaintiff’s allegations demonstrated that Tyson met the definition of employer for purposes of the Act. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleged Tyson “owned, operated, managed, and otherwise controlled” the meatpacking plant and “sell[s] meat products under the brand name Original Philly Cheesesteak.” The Plaintiff further contended that it was Tyson’s own failure to implement adequate safety precautions which resulted in her husband’s illness, and ultimately, death. Under the circumstances, the exclusivity provision of the Act mandated dismissal with prejudice of the tort claims asserted against Tyson.

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