Friday, February 4, 2011

Summary Judgment Entered in Monroe County Limited Tort Case

On February 2, 2011, Judge Linda Wallach Miller of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas entered a summary judgment in favor of the Defendants in the limited tort case of Stout v. Deleo, No. 970 - Civil - 2007 (Monroe Co. 2011, Miller, J.).

Judge Miller's Opinion provides a thorough review of both the history and the requisite analysis of the serious injury threshold of the limited tort alternative.

The Stout case involved a plaintiff who lost control of his vehicle on an icy roadway and was just coming to a stop when his vehicle was struck from the rear by another driver of another vehicle that had lost control on the ice. The plaintiff alleged injuries to his shoulder, neck, and back. He also noted symptoms down his right arm.

The court noted that the Plaintiff did not go to the emergency room and did not begin to treat until he visited his family doctor until a few days after the accident. According to the Opinion, the treatment thereafter was minimal and the plaintiff only took over-the-counter Motrin on occasion for his symptoms. Judge Miller also noted that the plaintiff only missed three shifts of work as a police officer but was otherwise able to complete his job duties after the accident.

The court was unimpressed with the plaintiff's claims of limitations in his ability to complete recreational activities and his claims of sleep disturbance from his ongoing pain symptoms. In the end, summary judgment was entered and the case was dismissed.

The prevailing defense attorney was Shawna McLaughlin of the Moosic, Pennsylvania Travelers Insurance in-house law firm of Thomas Kelley & Associates.

I thank Attorney Carmina Rinkunas of the Moosic, Pennsylvania Travelers Insurance in-house counsel office of Thomas Kelley & Associates.

Anyone desiring a copy of this Opinion may contact me at

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