Colianni & Colianni, LLC

Call Us412-680-7877

4001 Village Run Road, Wexford, PA 15090

Recent blog posts

Pittsburgh Wrongful Termination LawyerNobody should have to face discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, far too many employees are subject to harassment and other forms of discrimination based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other factors. Some of the most serious discrimination cases involve wrongful termination. When an employee is terminated from their job for illegal reasons, their loss of income can cause a great deal of financial difficulty, as well as significant emotional distress. Workers who have been wrongfully terminated will need to understand how they can take legal action against their former employer and address this issue.

Illegal Reasons for the Termination of an Employee

As is true throughout most of the U.S., Pennsylvania is an “at-will employment” state. If an employee does not have a contract or other provisions stating otherwise, either they or their employer may choose to end their employment at any time and for any valid reason. While a person may be fired because of poor job performance, or they may be laid off because an employer has encountered financial difficulties and is no longer able to pay their wages, there are a number of cases when a termination may be illegal. These include:

  • Discrimination - An employee cannot be terminated because of their race, gender, religion, or age. A person cannot be fired because they have a disability or because of pregnancy or marital status. 

    ...

    Continue Reading...

Pittsburgh Toxic Tort AttorneyFirefighters and others who work around fires may be exposed to toxic chemicals due to the use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). This type of firefighting foam may be used to control fires involving substances such as oil, gasoline, or jet fuel, and it can smother flames and cut off their oxygen supply. Many types of AFFF contain chemicals known as PFAS that have been linked with multiple types of serious health issues. Because this issue is an ongoing concern, numerous states have passed laws that limit the use of AFFF and address health concerns related to PFAS.

Recent Changes to State Laws Related to AFFF and PFAS

PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyls) are known as “forever chemicals” that do not break down over time. They can accumulate in the environment, leading to health issues that affect people who are exposed due to chemicals in water or soil. The use of firefighting foam may result in injuries to firefighters, people who work at airports or military bases where oil or jet fuel fires need to be controlled, or people who live near areas where these chemicals may accumulate in the environment. 

To address ongoing concerns about PFAS, several states have passed laws in recent years that address the use of AFFF. These states include:

...

Continue Reading...

Pittsburgh Personal Injury LawyerWorking in an industrial setting can be dangerous. Due to the presence of large, fast-moving machinery, materials heated to extremely high temperatures, and a variety of other dangers, steel mill workers may be at risk of serious injuries in workplace accidents. However, even when the proper safety procedures are followed to prevent these types of accidents, workers may also be at risk of harm due to exposure to toxic substances. Asbestos is one substance that continues to affect workers in steel mills and similar settings, and those who have been exposed to this substance may contract a dangerous form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

Causes of Asbestos Exposure in Steel Mills

For much of the 20th century, asbestos was a widely-used substance. Because it provides good insulation against heat and fire, it was often used in industrial settings, as well as building materials and other products. Once the dangers of asbestos became well-known, it stopped being used in many products. However, facilities that were built before these changes were made may still contain asbestos, putting workers at risk of harm.

There are multiple sources of potential asbestos exposure in steel mills. Some facilities may contain construction materials that were manufactured using asbestos, including cement and floor or ceiling tiles. Asbestos may have been used as insulation for furnaces, boilers, or pipes. A number of machine parts may have contained asbestos, including brake pads on cranes or other pieces of equipment, as well as valves, pumps, and other machine parts. Any products containing asbestos may put workers at risk of exposure, and a person may inhale asbestos fibers in the air or absorb them through their skin. A person’s family members may also be exposed to asbestos fibers that accumulate on their clothing.

...

Continue Reading...

Wexford Personal Injury LawyerIndustrial workers face a number of risks on a daily basis. When working around large, heavy equipment, the possibility of injuries is ever-present, and workers follow multiple safety practices to prevent accidents. However, in addition to the possibility of injuries in workplace accidents, workers at steel mills and similar facilities may also suffer harm after being exposed to toxic chemicals. These exposures may occur because of chemical spills, but in many cases, ongoing exposure over multiple months or years of work can lead to significant health issues. Workers who have been affected by toxic chemicals will need to understand their legal options and determine whether they can receive compensation for their injuries.

Dangerous Chemicals That May Cause Harm to Workers in Steel Mills

Those who work in the metal production industry deal with hazardous chemicals and substances on a regular basis. Some chemicals that may cause workers to suffer injuries include:

  • Arsenic - Compounds containing this substance may be used in steel production, potentially exposing workers to health risks. Inorganic arsenic compounds are carcinogenic, and they may lead to lung cancer, bladder cancer, skin cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, or prostate cancer. Exposure to low levels of arsenic over time can lead to issues such as damage to the liver and kidneys, decreased red and white blood cells, and an increased risk of infections.

    ...

    Continue Reading...

Wexford, PA dog bite lawyer

In 2019, it is estimated that there are roughly 63 million dogs that are designated as pets in the United States. Looking further into that number, around 36 percent of households own at least one canine. Known as man’s best friend, dogs are expected to be playful animals; however, personal injuries can occur from dog bites. A victim may seek to hold a canine's owner responsible for dog bite injuries. In many cases, a premises liability claim may be brought against a property owner to recover compensation for the damages suffered in these types of injuries.

Consequences of Dog Bites

Being bitten by a dog is a fairly common occurrence, but nearly one in five people who suffer a wound after being bitten by a dog have to seek medical attention. Injuries that arise from a dog bite can range from bruises and cuts to broken bones, loss of limbs, or bacterial infections. Out of the diseases that may be contracted from a dog bite, the most common include rabies, Capnocytophaga bacteria, Pasteurella, MRSA, and tetanus.

...

Continue Reading...

Pittsburgh car accident injury lawyer

In 2015, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that a total of 17,250 car accidents occurred daily. Many factors go into determining why car accidents happen, and most have to do with the driver. However, studies have shown that cars with specific features are more likely to get into an accident. These aspects include factors like make and model, the year the vehicle was manufactured, and the types of the car itself. A factor that surprised researchers was the color of a car could increase the chances of the driver being in an accident.

Not the Color You Would Imagine

The common perception among the public is that red, fast, and sports-like cars are more likely to be involved in an accident. This is due to the stereotypes that owners of red cars want to be noticed, are more adventurous, and thus are higher risk-takers. But a 20-year study in 2013 found black cars are 47 percent more likely to be in accidents. Why? The first reason is the most obvious. Black cars are a preferred color among car buyers. This can be due to the mystique or sense of mystery that the color black can hold for some people. It is the common color chosen by celebrities because it represents a high social status or is also considered a “rebellious” color. 

...

Continue Reading...

Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer

For nearly two-and-half centuries in Pennsylvania, medical malpractice lawsuits could be brought against doctors in any region in which the doctors practiced medicine. However, in 2003, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court changed the rule and limited the venue options to the county in which the injury occurred. The rule change was due to growing fears that plaintiffs could “venue shop,” which could potentially cause medical insurance rates to increase and lead doctors to leave the commonwealth. Since plaintiffs could file their lawsuits in any county where the physician worked, they may have chosen to pursue legal action in an area where juries were more likely to find the doctor to be at fault.

Recently, the issue was reopened when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court suggested reinstating the previous rules governing venue selection. Those who are considering taking legal action for medical malpractice may wonder whether these rules should be reverted and whether the proposed changes would benefit the citizens of Pennsylvania.

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County car accident injury attorney

Car accidents are among the leading causes of death and injury in the United States and much of the world. Individuals who have been in a motor vehicle collision can face both health, financial, and emotional trauma for months and even years after the event. Auto accidents can cause significant harm to the body, especially in the head, neck, and back, possibly also resulting in prolonged pain and the inability to perform daily functions. The resulting medical bills can put an individual in the financial red zone, and many people report suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after having been involved in a motor vehicle accident. 

Car Accident Statistics 

According to studies, there are certain places and times of day in which collisions are most likely to occur. If you wish to prevent being in or causing a car accident, it is best to be more cautious if you are driving in the following locations or during the times listed below:

...

Continue Reading...

Wexford, PA industrial work injury attorney

Industrial workers, on average, have to work in more dangerous environments than most other fields. The likelihood of a worker being involved or witnessing an industrial accident that can result in severe injury or even death is high, which is why every effort should be made to make workplaces safer by creating safety guidelines and following common sense standards. If you are an industrial worker, and you are concerned about your safety and the safety of your coworkers, here are a few simple tips to make your workplace safer:

Keep Floors Clear and Clean

In the heavy industrial field, injuries can occur if areas are not kept clean and free from clutter. Slip and falls are among the most common industrial accidents. Slipping on slick floors can result in back, shoulder, or neck injuries or damage to other parts of the body. This can potentially lead to a lifetime of pain and the inability to live a fulfilling life. Such injuries are easily avoidable by cleaning up messes as soon as they happen. Be sure to encourage your workplace to keep cleaning equipment in all sectors of your workplace so that such messes do not accumulate. 

...

Continue Reading...

Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer

Ride-sharing services have grown in popularity significantly over the last several years. This is primarily due to the ease of use and the perceived high standard of service offered by companies such as Uber and Lyft. However, as with any vehicle-oriented service, there is the potential for car accidents while on the road. The ride-share driver might cause an accident due to negligence, or an accident may happen due to the fault of another driver. In such a situation, determining who is at fault is important. If the ride-share driver caused the crash, is the driver or the ride-sharing company held legally responsible? These are important questions to consider if someone uses this type of transportation and is involved in an accident as a passenger.

How Does Ride-Sharing Work?

Ride-sharing services are entities that bring drivers and passengers together. Specifically, these services allow the rider to request transportation in real time. Once the user of a ride-sharing app requests a ride (typically from his or her phone), the nearest ride-share driver receives the user’s contact information and location, and proceeds to the user’s destination to provide transportation.

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County personal injury lawyer

For many people, posting on social media is now a daily habit. They post and share videos, images, and comments talking about good news, bad news, and all sorts of events that are occurring in their lives. This is a harmless activity most of the time, but unfortunately, some people seem to have forgotten that social media posting is a public affair, not a private one. They share things they should not, which could put them in legal jeopardy. One such example of this is when a person posts comments or photos after they are involved in a car accident.

How Social Media Can Be Used Against You

It can be surprising to see how people forget that social media is the stage for a public conversation. Even if you have set your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to private, what you say and do can still leak out. Further, what you post can create misconceptions that can be used against you in a legal proceeding.

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County premises liability attorney

Premises liability civil lawsuits come about from injuries that were caused due to unsafe conditions on someone else's property or real estate. In other words, the owner or manager of a property failed to follow specific rules or guidelines, or their negligence led to another person being harmed. This can include things like unsafe working conditions at construction sites, accidents in industrial warehouses, or even a simple slip and fall in a grocery store. Whatever the case, individuals who are injured in such circumstances may be entitled to compensation. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to unsafe conditions at your workplace, on commercial property, at someone's home, or on public premises, follow these steps so you can recover what you deserve:

  1. Check Yourself for Injury. Following a slip and fall, some people may get up and dust themselves off immediately following the fall, downplaying the severity of their injuries. However, some injuries may present symptoms until later. If you have taken a nasty fall or a hit to the head or body, then it is advisable to seek medical attention.

    ...

    Continue Reading...

Allegheny County medical malpractice lawyer

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is considering retraction of decades-old restraints on medical malpractice lawsuits. The decision to do so could make it easier for plaintiffs to sue their doctor if they feel negligence and wrongdoing were committed. Meanwhile, some say such a move would have catastrophic consequences and upend the system. 

Background of the Issue

In Pennsylvania during the 1990s and early 2000s, the issue of medical malpractice was hotly contested. Back then, the number of civil lawsuits filed against doctors was much higher than it is now. The reason for this was that state law allowed for lawsuits to be commenced anywhere the plaintiff or defendant had a personal or professional connection. The attorney for the plaintiff would typically select a district where they were most likely to get a favorable jury. However, many thought this practice was unfair to doctors, calling it "venue shopping," and claiming that it encouraged unnecessary lawsuits against medical practitioners.

...

Continue Reading...

pittsburgh personal Injury lawyerThe ability to prove negligence is one of the most critical factors needed to win compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. It must be proven that the at-fault person had a particular duty of care to you and that they breached that duty. In other words, you have to prove that the party you want to sue acted negligently in some way and that you suffered substantial injuries as a direct result of that negligence. 

Examples of Negligence or Breach of Duty of Care

Car accidents are one of the most common bases for a personal injury lawsuit. Drivers have a duty of care to other people on the street to drive with reasonable care and obey traffic laws. If a pedestrian lawfully crosses a street on a green light in a designated crosswalk and a driver on the cross street runs a red light and strikes the pedestrian, the driver would be considered at fault. 

Similarly, a business owner has a duty of care to their customers to maintain their facilities in a reasonably safe condition. If a customer suffered a severe head injury because an improperly-secured shelf fell, the store owner would likely be held liable for the customer’s injuries because they had a duty of care to make sure that their premises were free of dangerous hazards.

...

Continue Reading...

Wexford religious discrimination lawyerThe EEOC processed 20% more religious employment discrimination cases in 2017 than 2007, while total discrimination cases rose just 2% over the same 10-year period. As a result, employers have become more cautious in their handling of religion-based requests for accommodations and exceptions to long-standing workplace policies. Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act protects all aspects of religious observance, practice, and belief. 

Workplace Policies With Disparate Impact Based on Religion

Religious employment discrimination cases often involve workplace policies that have a disparate adverse impact on people of a particular religion. For example, suppose an employer requires workers to be able to work any day of the week. That policy would have a disparate impact on people whose religion prohibits working on a holy day. Similarly, a workplace policy that requires workers to be clean-shaven and to wear a uniform consisting of shorts and a short-sleeved shirt can have a disparate impact on men whose religion requires them to wear a beard and women whose religion requires modest dress.

Employer Accommodations Required for Religious Reasons

Suppose a retail chain requires staff to be available to work on weekends, their busiest time. The hiring manager, Bob, interviews a candidate named Sarah. During the interview, Bob explains the job requirements. Sarah asks that she not be scheduled to work from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening due to her religion. 

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County work discrimination lawyer disparate impact“Disparate impact” by race means that an employment policy has a greater negative impact on people of a particular race, even if the employer did not intend the policy to be discriminatory and even if the policy does not appear obviously discriminatory on its face. You can file a claim for financial compensation if you have been terminated from your job or otherwise suffered race-based employment discrimination as the result of a workplace policy with disparate impact. 

Requirements to Claim Racial Discrimination By Disparate Impact 

In order to make a valid disparate-impact claim against an employer, several conditions must be met. First, you must have personally suffered harm as a result of the policy, such as being fired because you violated the policy.

Second, according to current court rulings, the basis of racial discrimination must be an unchangeable condition of your race, such as skin color or a medical condition that has been scientifically linked to your race. “Cultural expressions” of your race such as hairstyles and styles of dress do not currently qualify as race-based discrimination, although this could change in the future, because religious expressions have already been granted legal protection.

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County work discrimination attorneyRacial discrimination in the workplace does not have to involve open hostility, derogatory remarks, and intentional acts in order to support a claim for damages. In fact, many cases have been won where an employer’s race-based discrimination was subtle and even unintentional. 

When racial discrimination occurs in a more subtle fashion, you may not even be sure whether you have a valid claim. Even after you file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and their investigation reveals some evidence of discriminatory practices, there is no guarantee that the EEOC will decide to prosecute your case. In such cases, you may need to engage a private attorney to help you collect damages.

What Are Some Signs of Subtle Racial Discrimination?

A supervisor or hiring manager may never utter a word against people of another race or intentionally make discriminatory decisions about hiring, promotion, or termination. However, they may still be perpetuating discriminatory practices.

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County workplace discrimination lawyer EEOC claimWhen you file a workplace discrimination claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), this organization will investigate your complaint to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support your claim. If so, the EEOC will file charges against the employer and attempt to settle the case through its conciliation process. 

If the employer refuses to settle your case through conciliation, only then will the EEOC consider filing a federal court lawsuit against that employer. However, the EEOC is not required to pursue your case in court. In fact, the EEOC only pursues litigation in a small percentage of the cases where it finds sufficient evidence of discrimination and fails to resolve the case through conciliation. In making this determination, the EEOC considers factors such as the seriousness of the violation, the specific legal issues involved, and the extent to which a court ruling on the case would advance the agency’s wider efforts to reduce and prevent workplace discrimination. 

The Benefits of Engaging a Private Attorney for Your Pittsburgh Workplace Discrimination Case

You will find it valuable to consult a private attorney about your case even before you file a workplace discrimination complaint with the federal EEOC or the corresponding state agency, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). 

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County EEOC claim lawyer discrimination compensationIf you have experienced employment discrimination because of your age, race, sex, or another attribute protected under the U.S. Civil Rights Act, you have the right to file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the EEOC determines that your claim of discrimination is valid, you may be eligible to receive substantial compensation for the harm that was done to you. The amount of compensation that you can receive depends on the nature of your case.

Intentional Sex-Based Wage Discrimination

If your claim is that your employer paid you less than other people in comparable positions due to your gender, your compensation will be in the form of back pay. If you were paid $10/hour, and workers of the other gender were paid $11/hour, and you worked at that job for 1,000 hours, you would be eligible for compensation in the amount of $1,000 ($1 per hour wage difference times the number of hours that you were underpaid).

When an employer’s sex-based discrimination is not just intentional but especially malicious, your compensation as described above could be doubled. This type of incremental compensation is termed “liquidated damages.”

...

Continue Reading...

Allegheny County workplace race discrimination lawyerYou may feel that you have been treated in a negative or unfair manner at work because of your race, yet be unsure whether it rises to the level of illegal racial discrimination. It can be difficult to determine whether a single employer decision that appears to be racially biased is actually a violation of your rights under the federal and/or Pennsylvania state civil rights laws. 

Some employer decisions about your work terms or duties may not appear to be discriminatory on their face, but can be proven to be discriminatory when all employee records are reviewed. Some examples include:

  • Offering different work terms or conditions to one race than to others
  • Assigning duties or responsibilities based on an employee's race
  • Limiting promotion opportunities to those of a particular race

If you are unsure whether you have been discriminated against with regard to work terms, conditions, or duties, two helpful resources are guidelines published by the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) and EEOC press releases about recently settled cases.

...

Continue Reading...

Back to Top