Recent Superior Court Decision Provides Important Lessons on Appellate Practice in Cases Removed to Federal Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s recent decision in Kurns v. Soo Line Railroad, 2013 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1657 (July 17, 2013), highlights the difficult task that litigants can face in simultaneously navigating the state and federal appellate processes in a case that has been removed to federal court. In Kurns, the Court held that the appellant had waived her right to challenge in Superior Court a state trial court’s summary judgment decision issued prior to removal by failing to appeal that decision to the Third Circuit after the case was removed.

The Kurns Case -

The case features a complicated procedural history. In 2007, a former railroad employee filed suit against Soo Line Railroad and several other defendants in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, seeking damages for injuries sustained as a result of exposure to asbestos. In May 2008, the trial court granted summary judgment to Soo Line.

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