Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Recent Post-Koken Decision out of Philadelphia in Favor of Severance

In a February 12, 2010 decision out of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in the case of Dangler v. Robinson and AIU Insurance Company, March Term 2009, No. 4027, Control No. 09-092828 (Phila. Co. 2010 DiVito, J.), Judge Gary F. DiVito issued an Order granting the tortfeasor's preliminary objections, alleging a misjoinder of actions, in a post-Koken case.

The Judge, by Order only and without any Opinion, severed the UIM claim and ordered that it be tried separately from the third party claim.

This decision goes against at least three other Philadelphia County decisions that have denied requests for severance:

Richard Hess v. Cosgrove et al., Phila, July Term, 2008, no. 3708 (request to sever UIM claim and third party claim denied).

Hess v. Dickel, et al., Phila, October Term, 2008, no. 3220 (request to sever UIM claim and third party claim denied).

Zerggen v. Rietman and Nationwide Insurance, No. 0906 o1752 June Term 2009 (Phila. Co. March 3, 2010 McInerney, J.)(Preliminary objections filed by the tortfeasor on a venue argument denied by court; court also denied misjoinder of causes of action preliminary objection--refuses to sever the third-party case from the underinsured motorist claim against Nationwide.

For a listing of how other counties have handled this issue, click on the Post-Koken Scorecard in the right hand column of this blog.

Anyone desiring a copy of the Order may contact me at

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