Roverano, W., Aplts. v. John Crane

[J-10A&B-2019][M.O. – Mundy, J.] IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA EASTERN DISTRICT WILLIAM C. ROVERANO AND : No. 26 EAP 2018 JACQUELINE ROVERANO, H/W, : : Appeal from the Judgment of Superior Appellants : Court entered on 12/28/17 at No. 2837 : EDA 2016 affirming in part, reversing in : part and remanding the order entered v. : on 7/27/16 in the Court of Common : Pleas, Philadelphia County, Civil : Division at No. 1123 March Term, 2014 JOHN CRANE, INC., AND BRAND : INSULATIONS, INC., : : Appellees : ARGUED: March 6, 2019 WILLIAM ROVERANO, : No. 27 EAP 2018 : Appellant : Appeal from the Judgment of Superior : Court entered on 12/28/17 at No. 2847 : EDA 2016 affirming in part, reversing in v. : part and remanding the order entered : on 7/27/16 in the Court of Common : Pleas, Philadelphia County, Civil JOHN CRANE, INC., : Division at No. 1123 March Term, 2014 : Appellee : : : ARGUED: March 6, 2019 CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION CHIEF JUSTICE SAYLOR DECIDED: February 19, 2020 I join Part IV of the majority opinion, which holds that, under the Fair Share Act, bankrupt entities must be included on a verdict slip upon submission of “appropriate requests and proofs,” 42 Pa.C.S. §7102(a.2), and I support the affirmance of the award of a new trial for apportionment purposes. In all other respects, I respectfully dissent. On the issue of comparative versus per capita liability allocation among strictly liable defendants, I find that the majority places undue reliance on the inertia associated with previously prevailing common law principles and attributes insufficient weight to the clear indicia of the Legislature’s intent to proceed in a new direction by implementing a fair share or comparative responsibility regime. Addressing the first issue presented, I agree with the Superior Court that, “by explicitly making strictly liable joint tortfeasors subject to the same liability allocation section as that applicable to negligent joint tortfeasors, the Legislature made clear that it intended for liability to be allocated in the same way for each.” Roverano v. John Crane, Inc., 177 A.3d 892, 906 (Pa. Super. 2017) (per curiam). Indeed, I believe that if the General Assembly had intended to do the opposite within the contours of a “Fair Share Act” — i.e., to maintain a liability allocation regime for strict liability cases that was not divided on comparative or fair share basis — it would have so stated. This would seem to be all the more so given the substantial overlap between Section 7102(a.1)(1) and its predecessor. See id. at 907 (“[T]he similarity between the language of former Section 7102(b) and new Section 7102(a.1)(1) suggests that the Legislature intended that the allocation method applicable to negligence cases was merely being expanded to apply to strict liability cases too.”).1 1The Superior Court offered the following apt comparison of the language of Section 7102(a.1)(1) to its predecessor: the amount of [the tortfeasor’s] causal negligence to the amount of causal negligence attributed …Original document