Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Judge Polachek Gartley of Luzerne County Issues Post-Koken Decision

Another post-Koken decision on a pleadings issue has come out of Luzerne County. On February 28, 2011, in the case of Price v. Price, Auto Glass Unlimited, Inc., and State Farm, No. 13625-Civil-2010, Judge Tina Polachek Gartley, issued an Order on various Preliminary Objections filed by both State Farm and the Plaintiff.

In Price, a post-Koken Complaint was filed by the Plaintiff where the Plaintiff joined the tortfeasor and the UIM carrier, State Farm in one litigation.

State Farm filed Preliminary Objections solely on the basis that the Plaintiff’s breach of contract cause of action against them was really a claim of bad faith.

In response, Plaintiff filed Preliminary Objections to State Farm’s Preliminary Objections, arguing that State Farm Preliminary Objections were vague in that they failed to state specifically the grounds for the Preliminary Objections in violation of Pa. R.C.P. 1028(b).

Judge Gartley sided with the Plaintiff and denied State Farm’s Preliminary Objections and granted the Plaintiff’s Preliminary Objections to the Preliminary Objections.

I am uncertain as to how State Farm has followed up since.

I send thanks to Attorney Ann O. Farias of the O'Donnell Law Offices in Kingston, PA for bringing this case to my attention.

I note that this decision was by Order only without much any explanatory rationale. However, should you wish to obtain a copy of this Order, please do not hesitate to contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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