Monday, March 21, 2011

Consolidation Denied in Federal Middle District Post-Koken Case

Recently, on March 16, 2011, Judge Sylvia H. Rambo of the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has issued an Opinion in the case of Christian v. Liberty Mutual, No. 1:10-CV-125 (M.D.Pa. March 16, 2011, Rambo, J.) , denying a Plaintiff's request to consolidate the Plaintiff's negligence lawsuit against the tortfeasors with the Plaintiff's separately filed uninsured (UM) claim against the Plaintiff's own carrier under an allegation that a phantom vehicle was also involved in the accident.

In her Opinion, Judge Rambo noted the split of authority on the issue of consolidation vs. severance in the state court system and emphasized that, in the case before her, "the concerns of potential prejudice against Defendant arising from the introduction of insurance information are significant, and the benefit of cost avoidance would be felt only by Plaintiffs in the instant case, Plaintiffs...."

Accordingly, Judge Rambo decided to deny the Plaintiff's motion to consolidate.

I thank Attorney Carl J. Guagliardo of the Kingston law firm of Selingo & Guagliardo for bringing this case to my attention.

Anyone desiring a copy of this case may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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