Now that punitive damages are no longer allowed under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, defense lawyers are starting to ask judges to strike the requests for punitives from pending lawsuits where the original demand for punitives was made only under the PHRA count.

But in the first ruling on that issue, U.S. District Judge John R. Padova has held that in such a case, courts should construe the claim for punitives to be brought under both the state and federal law and allow it to proceed whenever the federal law allows.

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